First year Seminar writes column on course values of Simple Living

Simple Living FYS September 14, 2017 0

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail,” wrote Henry David Thoreau during his social experiment at Walden Pond.
The transcendentalist, commonly known as the father of the simplicity movement, published his manual for self-reliance, Walden or Life in the Woods, in 1854.
Since 2006, first-year students at Elizabethtown College have been exploring the topic of simplicity under the direction of associate professor of sociology Dr. Michele Lee Kozimor-King.
The course Simple Living traces the history and current outgrowths of the social movement.
Simple living, also referred to as simplicity, voluntary simplicity, or the simple life, is a lifestyle focused on taking the complicated and unnecessary things out of life.
According to Dr. Kozimor-King, simple living means living consciously and deliberately. Individuals who practice simple living concentrate on things that truly matter in life and strive to increase self-sufficiency.
“After taking the class, I was able to look at my own lifestyle and make changes. I am now more aware of my natural surroundings and the choices I make,” said junior Katey Mowery, who completed the first-year seminar and is now one of the peer mentors for the current year.
The roots of simplicity run deep at Etown. While the majority of our community knows that the College was founded in 1899 by members of the Church of the Brethren, few are probably aware that the core values of the Church include simplicity, peace, nonviolence, and social justice.
While simplicity once meant living a plain lifestyle, today the Brethren stress that simplicity is not about giving up possessions, but giving up the desire for more.
They strive to achieve a simplicity of life by concentrating on essential things rather than on the quantity of things.
In practicing simplicity, the Brethren do not completely reject material possessions, instead they seek to live intentional, responsible, eco-friendly and grateful lives.
The goal of this weekly column, written by students from the seminar, is to guide the Etown community toward the development of a more meaningful life.
In other words, the purpose of this column is to share tips, resources and suggestions for ways to simplify our everyday lives.
Some of the possible topics include decluttering digital media, learning to say “no,” creating a simple style and developing a healthy routine.
We invite the entire community to engage in a discussion of the value of simplicity by reading this column and sharing your thoughts and ideas with us on Twitter using #Etownsimplified.

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