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Escape from Affluenza

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posted on May, 24 2010 @ 05:11 PM
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Hi All!

I recently happened upon the website for a documentary from PBS entitled "Escape from Affluenza". In this thread I will give you some of the highlights from the film for living a more frugal and thus more satisfying life discussed in the video.

Affluenza is a social condition defined as

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. (de Graaf [1])

affluenza, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. (PBS [1])


The documentary "Escape from Affluenza" details 100 ways to avoid this condition by simplifying your lifestyle in order to be more satisfied with life in general. Not all of the suggestions will work for everyone. Some I personally agreed were just common sense, while some I found to be impractical at best and contrary to the simplistic principles preached at worst.

Some of the highlights include

Home and Hearth:


-When home-hunting, pick the smallest amount of space in which you are comfortable. This will limit the amount of stuff you can accumulate, and take far less of your time and resources to furnish, clean, maintain, insure and pay for.



-A 30-year mortgage of $100,000 at 8% will end up costing you $164,000 in interest alone. Paying just $25 a month extra will save you $23,337 in interest, and you’ll pay off your house 42 months early. Higher pre-payments bring even more astonishing savings--$100 extra a month will save $62,456 and shorten your loan by more than 14 years.



-Be a do-it-yourselfer around the house. Go to your local library for how-to videos, books and magazines, and discover the pride of competence and the pleasure of slowing down and learning new skills instead of throwing money at problems.



-Start a neighborhood swap of seldom-used tools. Why should a street of 10 houses have 10 lawnmowers, 10 paint-sprayers, and 10 band saws (or 55 Disney videos, for that matter)? If you’re lucky, there may already be a tool library in your area, like the one at the Phinney Neighborhood Center in Seattle.


Makes sense to me! I found these to be among the most useful and easiest to implement suggestions.

Work:


-Save commute time, fuel and stress by seeking permission from your employer to commute in off-peak times. Point out the environmental, productivity and job- satisfaction benefits.



-See if it’s possible to change to a 10-hour day, four days a week. The benefits to you are obvious (you may already be working 10 hours a day, anyway!), but research the benefits to your employer, and provide them in a well-written request.



-Telecommute from your home one day a week. You’ll save 20% a year on transportation and clothing maintenance, and will feel less rushed. There are proven productivity gains for employers, and everyone benefits with fewer commuters on the road.


I think these are great ideas to improve your work/life balance as well as saving money and helping the environment. Obviously not everyone's job can accomodate these provisions, but some lucky people's definitely can!

Money:


-Pay attention to how you spend your loose change. Limit the amount of cash and coins you carry, and you’ll plug one of the biggest financial leaks in most Americans’ pockets.



-Stop pouring money into vending machines, espresso stands and fast-food lunches. Bring a thermos of coffee and store-bought snacks to save at least $10 a week (average person). Bring your own lunch occasionally. Two brown-bag lunches a week save the average worker more than $325 a year (assuming a $4.50 restaurant meal).


Also practical ideas that are easily done.

Some of the suggestions that I personally would never do include selling my car and using strictly public transit, walking/biking, or buying a scooter. I found this suggestion in direct opposition to (practically speaking) buying in bulk to save money as well as only going shopping for food once a week. Also, in many areas in which communities are very spread out none of these options is a viable solution. I wouldn't do them because it's just inconvenient. I also wouldn't clip coupons as the time spent is too much for me to justify the money saved. Nor would I move into a condo, large apartment building, or co-op just to save money and lower my carbon footprint because my personal space is far too valuable.

You can see all of the 100 suggestions at the Escape from Affluenza website.

What would you do or what wouldn't you do in order to live more simply? Did you find any of these suggestions practical solutions to the pitfalls of modern living?

I hope some of you find this helpful!




posted on May, 24 2010 @ 05:16 PM
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Also, here's a "before you buy" checklist which you can use to gauge whether it's really necessary to buy something.



“Before You Buy” Checklist - print and keep in your purse or wallet. Before you buy, always ask yourself:

1. Do I really need it? If not, do I really love it?
2. Is it worth the time and money to dust, store, clean, otherwise maintain? 3. How many hours will I have to work to pay for it?
4. Could I borrow it from a friend, neighbor, or family member?
5. Is there anything I already own I could possibly use instead?
6. Are the resources that went into it renewable?
7. Is the product socially and environmentally friendly? (not made with child labor, or from virgin timber)
8. Can I recycle it when I’m through with it? Or will it help clog a landfill?


Before You Buy Checklist



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 05:40 PM
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"affluenza" was identified as the primary driving force behind mankinds suffering by Gautama Buddha.


1. There is suffering (dukkha).
2. There is a cause of suffering (craving).
3. There is the cessation of suffering (nirvana).
4. There is the eightfold path leading to the cessation of suffering.


en.wikipedia.org...

And the way to stop said suffering?

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 06:14 PM
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[edit on 24-5-2010 by RRokkyy]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
"affluenza" was identified as the primary driving force behind mankinds suffering by Gautama Buddha.


1. There is suffering (dukkha).
2. There is a cause of suffering (craving).
3. There is the cessation of suffering (nirvana).
4. There is the eightfold path leading to the cessation of suffering.


en.wikipedia.org...

And the way to stop said suffering?

en.wikipedia.org...

There is "practically" speaking no cessation of suffering or nirvana.
Almost no one gets enlightened.
www.abovetopsecret.com...




[edit on 24-5-2010 by RRokkyy]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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Thank you for this information. I hope more young people can get this message.
There has been a critical loss of spirituality and an increase in materialism that essentially has driven us to the edge.
I have played the materialism game and it leads nowhere. It is a false promise that does not deliver.
Now, I have found my way. I could live in a garage and be happy.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by RRokkyy

Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
"affluenza" was identified as the primary driving force behind mankinds suffering by Gautama Buddha.


1. There is suffering (dukkha).
2. There is a cause of suffering (craving).
3. There is the cessation of suffering (nirvana).
4. There is the eightfold path leading to the cessation of suffering.


en.wikipedia.org...

And the way to stop said suffering?

en.wikipedia.org...

There is "practically" speaking no cessation of suffering or nirvana.
Almost no one gets enlightened.
www.abovetopsecret.com...




[edit on 24-5-2010 by RRokkyy]


You are right, it is something that rarely happens. And I am not surprised that past yogi's have not left enlightenment in their wake.

But the question you must ask yourself is if the real value of the path of enlightenment lies in attainment, or striving?

Obviously, to someone who is striving, they find peace in that being all they will ever attain. Perhaps this is the "secret"?

This is the key difference that Pythagoras brought when he would not call himself "sage" (one who knows) and chose to invent the term "philosopher" (one who seeks to know).



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 07:27 PM
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I believe people need to stop wanting things they think they need to be happy. The amount of stress I see in the life of others that constantly looking into buying things to make them feel good is pretty high.

Sadly, once they get what makes them happy they just move on to the next thing that will bring them happiness. Happiness comes from within, it can be bought of course, but it doesn't have to be. It's all about acceptance.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 08:31 PM
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I think Ben Franklin said something to the effect:

Happiness comes from fulfilling desires. But there are two ways to be happy. (1) Increase the means to fulfill your desires, (2) Reduce your desires according to your means. Both lead to the same result: happiness.

Today, most people tend to pursue Number 1, which requires more and more money to keep up with the Jonses. Number 2 merely requires being content with what you have, and not paying attention to what anyone else has.

When I treked through Nepal, I was amazed at the level of genuine happiness I saw on the faces of some of the poorest people in the world. Sometimes simpler is better.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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Have you heard about Voodoo curses & hexing? Many believe in such things. Someone who is told they have cancer could die within days over stress, just by being told. Here is the most interesting writing on HIV:

www.virusmyth.com...



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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Awesome Post! S&F

I especially loved the Scarlet Avatar with the incredible pink background; this post would have been a favorite from the start, but the Avatar certainly highlighted an inner smile in me.

I am happy to know that I am completely un-affluenza, LOL, what do we call ourselves now LOL I am free from all the above, and I have taken everyone of those practical steps to get here. Although I do not work, that is only by choice and always has been. It is a great feeling.

I suggest a terrific book for survivalist, futurists, and those that just want a simple life.

"The Encyclopedia of Country Living" by Carla Emery

It is a comprehensive text/Bible on how folks really lived in the past. How did our Grandparents and their Parents feed themselves, cloth themselves, house themselves, and remain healthy and frugal. I have this book and it is 922 pages long!



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