Living in a Tiny Space a Historical Perspective

The size of your home is unimportant, the size of your backyard is critical. I win!

History teaches us that the size of your home is totally unimportant, but the size of your backyard is critical!

This is the second in a series on living in the tiny space of small cars, vans, SUVs and RVs. Most of the posts will be looking at are examples of how people are doing it but first I wanted to lay a groundwork to help you justify your decision to live in a tiny space. The sad truth is that many of your friends, family and society in general will be shocked by the very idea of living in anything but a house and horrified by the thought of a vehicle. They will probably be very skeptical and do everything they can to talk you out of it. I find it very important to have a reasonable argument explaining why I’m doing such an odd thing. But, I don’t need to convince them, I only have to satisfy myself

In my last post we looked at the biology of why your brain craves the simplicity and security of a tiny space. Very simply it’s been wired that way by hundreds of millions of years of evolution.  Once you get over the culture-shock of moving into a tiny space, you are almost certainly going to be happier in it than in a too-large space.

But there is another important way to justify living in a tiny space and that’s to look at the history of the types and sizes of shelters humans have lived in. Even a casual glance shows that tiny shelters are normal for us and the super-sized homes of America are an abnormal, freakish exception. In Hong Kong today, for example, the average home size is 434 square feet but in America it’s over 2100 square feet.

Even in modern times American homes are exceptionally large compared to the rest of the developed world. And they’re tremendously larger than homes in the developing world which are often nothing but huts and shacks.

Based on our biology and the history of humans, the burden isn’t on us to explain why we live in a tiny space, it falls on them to justify the obscene and unnatural size of their shelters!

Historical Perspective

For most of human history our survival depended on the freedom to be able to move with the seasons and follow game, therefore permanent shelters were the rare exception. We needed the freedom that tiny, temporary shelters gave us to move whenever and wherever we needed to. Instead we built mostly simple and quick shelters to protect us from the elements. Our top priority was being able to keep warm and dry with what was available in the local area. That meant it had to be a tiny space or else we would soon strip our nearby area bare of the materials needed to build and maintain the shelter–especially firewood for light, heat and cooking.

The thing to understand is that for 99.99% of human history, when most people woke up in the morning they could look around and their eyes could see nearly everyone they knew and everything they “owned.” Shelters were inclusive and didn’t separate and divide us from each other or from nature. There may only have been 75 people in the band or tribe, but they physically could see and touch each other throughout the day and often the night, sometimes even sleeping together. There may have been very few of us, but we were rarely alone and loneliness didn’t exist. Loneliness is a by-product of civilization and home ownership.

People have been living in Wikiups for hundreds of thousands of years. They were easy to build, easy to heat, didn;t strip the area clear of sullpies and when it was time to move one, you left them behind without a though.

People have been living in structures like these Wikiups for hundreds of thousands of years. They were easy to build, easy to heat, didn’t strip the area clear of supplies and when it was time to move one, you abandoned them without a thought. They were so easy to replace, they certainly weren’t worth fighting over.

As Tribal People, we knew that we could not survive alone. Only as a part of a strong Tribe could I survive and thrive in life. So our highest priority was the health and well being of each person around me. At any moment my life might depend on him or her so working toward whatever was best for the whole group was the best thing I could do for myself. For them…

People were treasured,

Things had no value.

Modern Homes are Not Designed for Shelter, but as Temples to the Worship of Status, Luxury, Greed and Paranoia

There is no clear archaeological evidence of any buildings before about 18,000 BC, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building) but there are many ruins of houses back to 8000 BC with the dawn of agriculture. Agriculture started changes that led from farmsteads, to towns to cities and finally civilizations–each leading to increasingly large and complex homes and social structures. The essence of civilization is to clump people tightly together in direct, close contact with each other, but at the same time putting them behind walls of separation, creating a deep division of people from each other and from nature;  Millions of us can be packed into a tiny area, but we hide behind walls of separation so we rarely actually see and physically touch each other. Most of us feel terribly alone and lonely even while in a sea of people! Alienation and separation is the legacy of home ownership.

Because we now depended on our own work, on our own land to get food and trade goods, “my” land suddenly became very valuable as were the tools I used to produce crops. Without them I’d be lost. We no longer needed the other tribe members, we just needed more possessions. Having things that we considered extremely valuable and expensive of my own makes it MINE and makes me willing to make any necessary sacrifice to get it and keep it, even working at a job I hate and shooting you if you try to steal it. “This is mine and you’d better not touch it!” 

Not only did I no longer need other people, I now saw them as rivals and opponents. That drives us to paranoia, feeling very afraid of anyone who wants to take it from me and at the same time creates a desire in some people to take it from me. Most of us end up hiding in our homes with multiple locks and alarms to keep the bad guys out and us few (and our precious possessions) safely inside. Sadly, we aren’t even aware it isn’t a shelter of protection, it’s a prison of our own making. For civilized men…

Things were Treasured,

People were Opponents.

Humans evolved as Nomads with the idea that EVERYTHING was disposable and unimportant but modern life perverted that until NOTHING was disposable, instead everything was a treasure worth fighting and dying for. That meant my home was not merely a practical solution for protection from the weather, it became a status symbol of my wealth and a fortress where I protected myself and my treasures from other people. 

tiny-Auction-storage-no-trespassing-sign-tn1

A symptom of our age, things are treasured and people are disposable,

Four of the Seven Deadly Sins are wrapped up in our houses:

  1. Pride: Our self-worth and place in society are determined by our houses. That’s why your family and friends are so horrified when you say you are moving out–the moment you do, you loose all merit and value as a person.
  2. Greed: Owning a home is so dissatisfying that it leaves us with a constant, nagging desire for MORE and BETTER. We feel like we need a bigger and better house or at least more and better things to put in it. That means we need more money….
  3. Envy: Keeping up with the Jones’s is a national pastime for many Americans and much of it revolves around having better things on the inside and outside of your house.
  4. Anger/Paranoia: Most of us are so afraid of having our precious stuff stolen from us we’ve added multiple layers of defenses to our homes. It’s reached it’s height in the “Castle Doctrine” which says you don’t have to flee someone breaking into your own home, you can stand your ground and do whatever is required to defend it.

The simple truth is that the historical record shows that home ownership has been very bad for humans and each of us would be better off if we simply walked away from them and went back to  living as close to the Nomadic Path as we possibly could.

I already know what you’re going to say, “We can’t all do that, if we did there wouldn’t be anyone left to make all the things we want.”  But I’m not talking to everyone, I’m just talking to you folks who came here to my website. There’s a reason you came here and it has to be that to some degree your regular life isn’t really working for you and you long for a change. There’s no chance that everyone will do what I suggest because they don’t know about it and have no desire for it. On the other hand, apparently you do!

Maybe it’s time you did more than long for a change, maybe it’s time to make some changes! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, you can start making some small changes that will have a big impact on your life:

  • Stop buying so much stuff. You’re life will be better in every way if you do.
  • Start getting rid of some of your stuff. You’ll feel so much better!
  • Start researching down-sizing your home. Imagine what you could do with the extra money!
  • Go camping, or just go outside and play! Nature will heal you!
  • Look at your car and see if there isn’t a way to sleep in it. Maybe even trade it in for a mini-van. How would that work, how would it feel? A whole world of freedom, adventure and travel can open up for you if you can!

None of these things are profound or hard. Maybe put them in your thought-process and start mulling them over–who knows what wonderful things might come from them! A small acorn can grow from a mighty oak.

I’m making Videos on my good friends James and Kyndal’s YouTube Channel “Enigmatic Nomadics.” See them here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_W_E5SFCxwpSOaqMjOOBTg

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP AMAZON.COM

 

 

Bob
About

I’ve been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

45 comments on “Living in a Tiny Space a Historical Perspective
  1. Lucy says:

    One thing I’m doing @ present time is getting rid of ‘ stuff ‘, it’s amazing how liberating it is with each load that’s taken away is the feeling of: ” i feel better, I feel freer ‘ !!

    Love, LOVE this blog, thank you Bob !

    My regards, Lucy.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Lucy, for most of us getting rid of stuff is bittersweet, great joy at the freedom we find in it but a real sense of loss at the same time. Keep going, in the long run the joy overwhelms the sadness!
      Bob

  2. Hi Bob, hope all is well for you. I like your shift in thinking the last couple years. Being out there in nature with time to meditate and consider what’s important in life has that effect on a person. This movement has the potential to transform our world! Keep those inspirational posts coming, I read every one. I have my health back no thanks to my doctors and hope to rejoin the nomadic tribes people by years end. Be well.
    Doug Ferguson recently posted…Super Tuesday PrimariesMy Profile

  3. Bob, I recall when I first left the East coast to join my sons in Washington state (Seattle), how shocked I was that homes were so much smaller than in the East. It felt constricted to me. Almost claustrophic. I guess I have gotten over that culture shock now since I “live in a van down my the river” now. lol But last night on T.V. (yes I know have a working t.v. in my van and was getting six channels last night) on the news I saw that they are building a huge condominium or apartment complex with 400 sq ft units. They will cost $1,300 a month. 90% of the people surveyed said they would not rent them, that size for the much money.

    Just sharing. Enjoyed your post.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Charlene. No doubt about it, we are swimming upstream against a culture that still believes bigger is always better. To each his own I guess!
      Bob

  4. Rob says:

    This was a well done piece Bob! A good argument.

  5. Iris says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I am hoping to be out of my 5th wheel by the end of the month. I really enjoy this post.

  6. LakeConroePenny says:

    Hi Bob,
    I sold everything a few years ago to become a Full Time RVer, but when my husband got sick, we settled down and built a little house. He didn’t live long enough for me to get some Soc. Sec. from him.

    Now, at over 80 years old, I realize that I can’t tow an enormous UHaul through the pearly gates, and so I am having an estate sale and selling the house that we built.
    This will help out with my very small pension.

    Then I will live in my old 20′ B+ camper wherever I can. It will be scary for a while, I am sure.

    Happy Trails to you and Happy Tails to Cody. Penny, TX

  7. Lightfoot says:

    Excellent, well-written, and thought-provoking blog entry, Bob. My gosh, you’re really swimming against the tide. So true how things are perceived as being more important than people now–and you explained why. Really well done.

  8. Kathy says:

    Bob, honest to Pete, I feel like you’ve been talking to me for the last several posts. It’s as if you’re responding to the doubts and insecurities I told you about a couple of weeks ago in Ehrenberg. “People Living Free = Happy People”, “Giving up Your Old Ideas for a New Life”, “Civilized Versus the Nomad Mind”, “Living in Tiny Spaces; How Much House do you Really Need?”, and now the “Historical Perspective” have all been so very inspiring and comforting and energizing. I love these messages and I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and philosophy. I WILL see you again out there soon!

  9. Claudio says:

    Bob,
    without having seen your last posts, yesterday I was telling my daughter very similar things.

    It’s not the first time this happens.

    I do not need to be nice, you know, I don’t particularly care to be appreciated or liked, my ego doesn’t need that kind of stuff anymore, but I just HAVE to say that those entries of yours are really precious. Just reading them makes me happy. And they certainly give new hope, perspectives and great information to many people.

    I found your blog many years after having experienced, in your beautiful American wilderness, that beeing out there, completely alone, sleeping in a tiny car/SUV, for several weeks, made me feel happy in a way so profound I hadn’t experienced before. I often kind of forgot myself and vanished into what we call universe, cosmos…or whatever, becoming sort of part of it (sounds really stupid/crazy, but that’s what I felt). And I started to notice with how little I could be happy and how free I felt. I started to notice how much all that clutter I don’t really need was a burden, making me more a prisoner than anything else.

    I learned to have a good wash with half a gallon of water, sometimes I splurged and used a whole gallon and felt like a king. I don’t even want to know how much (usually drinking) water a normal European citizen needs every day just for washing. Probably enough for many African families to quench their thirst for many days instead of having to drink water so toxic that they die from it.

    Well, I could write a whole book about how humanity is digging its own grave and what should be done to prevent our extinction in the not too far future (with not too much hope to change anything, to be honest) …

    I know that lots of people are forced to live frugally, in vans or RVs, for financial reasons. I wouldn’t be, but still, whenever I lead that kind of life for extended periods of time I simply feel the happiest, so that’s the reason why I’ll probably „end“ that way. Until the great Manitou will invite me to roam forever on his infinite prairies ;-).

    In the beginning of your video you talked about the cyclists. Well, I know lots of them who sell everything and travel/live for years cycling the world and sleeping in their tents. I just do that for short periods of time. They make me feel like a king when I sleep in my car in the middle of nowhere, protected from the elements, wind, rain, wild critters and so on, with all my stuff secured in the trunk and all the other amenities I enjoy that a cyclist on the road can only dream about. On this page you find lots of examples, the link leads to my info-page on that site:

    https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/directory/?user=cdl

    So you vandwellers are living in real castles, you are little splurgers…;-)

    • Bob Bob says:

      Claudio, you’re so right, space is all relative and compared to bike touring, we vandwellers live in mansions!

      You were born to be a nomad, sounds like you should find a way to do it!
      Bob

  10. Claudio says:

    Another funny thing is that several years ago I have prepared a file with about 20 sentences I really liked. A week or so ago I found almost all those sentences on your site, too…

  11. Hi Bob,

    My name is Amandine and I’m a translation student in Belgium. I’m currently subtitling the documentary Without Bond for my final thesis.
    I have trouble understanding something, can we talk via email?

    Thank you and take care (you’re almost family to me now, I spend a lot of time watching this documentary :))

    Amandine

  12. Krummholtz says:

    Bob, I concur with the other comments, and enjoyed reading them almost as much as I enjoy your blog. You are touching the essence of the questions: How do we want to spend our few minutes here, and once basic needs are met where do we want to direct our efforts? Do we want things or freedom to decide where we want to be? Can we stand up against the pressure to pay into the system as much as is required to pass the scrutiny of our peers and the current regulatory structure? If I am 100% honest I do struggle with the public image of living in a van, and my family and friends thinking I’m pretty eccentric. (My kids applaud it, however, and wish they could come along.) Your words really help reinforce what I know in my heart and bones, that this feels right and is the opposite of crazy. I still put on a suit most mornings, but everyone I work with knows I live in the van during the week. The response is truly not negative, but more curious than anything. I am perfecting the accommodations and hope to be house-free by the end of the year. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Krumnholtz, it’s hard to break the shackles of our brainwashing, very hard. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s hard, that’s normal. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and leave the results up to the Universe.
      Bob

  13. Alan says:

    While vandwelling over the past few months, I’ve never felt lonely camped in nature, even when I’ve hardly talked to anyone for a week or more, even sitting on my butt not doing much. Yet, when I was in my house for about 6 weeks around Christmas getting it ready to rent out, staring at those walls, I got really blue.

    I think that in nature, even when we’re without other humans, we get a certain amount of stimulation we’re evolved to appreciate. I mean, why else would we have relaxation CDs with creek sounds, etc.? In that house, I was cut off from my natural environment, and it didn’t do me any good. So glad I got that project done and I’m back on the road.
    Alan recently posted…Kennel Chills, Zion RV & Campground, Mount Carmel, UtahMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Alan, you are so right, lonliness cones from the inside and has nothing to do with the people around you. You found out that Nature brings you peace, peace solves all your problems.
      Bob

  14. “…the size of your backyard is critical!”

    I lived in a part of the country where they believed the size of your FRONT yard was critical, because that’s what others see. So houses were set way back on their lots.

  15. Drew says:

    I really enjoy this blog but lately a certain tone seems to be creeping in which is getting hard to ignore, even though I am in general agreement with the content overall. But, one could get the idea that vandwellers don’t realize their lifestyle depends on a highly developed consumer infrastructure, which is created and maintained by people that live a conventional lifestyle. The vehicles you drive, the roads you use, the fuels you consume, the stores you frequent, the food and consumer goods that you buy, the medical services and prescriptions you avail yourself of wherever you wander, the cellular internet and satellite TV and solar panels and tech gadgets — these are all products of the conventional consumer culture, and the people that live in that culture. And with big flat-panel TVs and all the rest of consumer trappings set up out in the middle of no place for the purpose of viewing the worst of the worst consumer propaganda (the Superbowl), the RTR doesn’t even look any different than the conventional culture, more like a micro-suburb, to be honest. Why drag all that crap around in a trailer? It’s gross, and reveals a sort of hypocrisy. Careful of throwing stones in your micro-glass houses! All the same, best wishes to you all. I’ll still be following the blog, but having said my piece, will not bother you again.

    • Claudio says:

      Well, Drew, I don’t want to be too intrusive and this is just a spontaneous thought, not complete or exhaustive, but I find that a litte bit simplistic. Of course it wouldn’t be realistic to jump back to the pre-industrial age at once. But it does make a huge difference in terms of ecological footprint if you live in a van or RV opposed to an ordinary house or flat filled with so much more stuff of any kind with all the related implications (production, transport and all the many other related aspects). So it’s not 0 or 100 or black or white. it’s better to be on, let’s say, „20“ on some sort of „pollution scale“ than on „80“, that combined with other measures, like, for example, serious birth control, particularly in some countries of our planet where it’s completely out of control, would be a great step in the right direction not necessarily back to the jungle again, but to a more balanced and sustainable life and to a halt of this insane and exponentially growing comsumption/production and exploitation. Certain countries of our planet already look more like landfills or waste dumps than anything else and this will continue to spread out if we don’t change direction, not necessarily stopping everything, which wouldn’t be a very realistic goal, but containing, reducing our consumption, making do with less. So having more vandwellers, even those who like to have a TV or a few other amenities (I personally would need very little of that) would be a GOOD thing and a step in the right direction, I.M.H.O..

    • Claudio says:

      But, Drew, having exposed my relatively mild view on vandwelling, I’m completely with you on the fact that people that take advantage of our modern societies „amenities“ should be aware of it when critisizing the consumer society…

    • Bob Bob says:

      Drew, you’re right, their are many great things about our modern life, BUT it comes at a tremendous price. It is terribly dehumanizing to each and every one of us. You and I are units of productivity; here to support the machines and to keep them busy. Worse, we have our lives of cheap luxury on the back of people in the third world around the globe. Our lifestyles depends totally on Child labor, sweat shops and literal slavery around the world.

      A billion people are starving to death right now while you and I live in decadance. But because our lives are so great, we aren’t going to do anything to stop contributing to their suffering. We won’t even consider actually trying to help them.

      Worse, we’re ravaging the planet like there was no tomorrow and the poor people of the world will be hurt the worst by it. But our system is so evil we are making our own children’s grand children’s lives a total misery so we can feed our indulgences.

      In the future our generation will be called the most evil that ever lived because what we are doing to our ecosystem is obvious to us, (the science is painfully clear) and there is still some chance we could do something about it. But we are so self-absorbed we won’t even lift a finger to try to change it.

      My moral code requires me to do something about it. I can’t just go along my merry way pretending it isn’t true when I’m convinced it is. So I’m trying to fight the system from within it. I’ve stopped supporting it as much as I reasonably can and doing as little harm as I can to the environment. Am I perfect NO!! I’m only 80% better for the environment than house-dwellers. Does that 20% negate my accomplishment? NO!!!!!! People who throw it at me are just doing it so they have an excuse to do 100% damage. “If I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t have to do anything at all!!”

      But it’snot enough for me minimize the damage I’m doing, I feel compelled to do even more than that!

      I’m trying to use this evil systems own resources to call out as many others as I can. Every person who moves out of his house and adopts a nomadic lifestyle does a little less harm to themselves and to the earth. They can start their inner healing and stop damaging the earth so much.

      They won’t come unless I can offer them a better life than they have now, and that’s just what I’m doing.

      If we won’t do the right thing just because it’s the right thing, then we have to appeal to our own selfishness and show people a better life on a better path. That’s what I offer in my blog a much better life, but they aren’t going to come if they can’t have a reasonable numbers of comforts so I make sure they can.

      If it takes getting the Super Bowl to bribe people out of the horrors of civilization I’ll gladly do it!! Even with all of the modern conveniences we have, we are still drastically better for the environment than any home-dweller.

      I believe everything I’ve said here is factually correct and I can provide you with lots of proof for all of it. Chances are you reject all or most of it, that’s okay. I just hope you can see that if you begin with my assumptions, my conclusions and actions are reasonable and logical.
      Bob

      • Claudio says:

        “we have our lives of cheap luxury on the back of people in the third world around the globe”

        YES, Bob, this is a VERY important aspect that is often completely overlooked.

  16. Claudio says:

    (MMMHHH, I posted the last one a bit quick, had to bring my daughter to school, noticed some lacks in clarity rereading, so a big apology to the webmaster and here I go again… )

    Well, Drew, I don’t want to be too intrusive and this is just a spontaneous thought, not complete or exhaustive, but I find what you write a little bit simplistic.

    I think it wouldn’t be realistic to expect that those, who have decided to live in a car, van or RV instead of in a house or flat, jump back to the pre-industrial age at once, you know “cold turkey”, as Americans say.

    It DOES make a huge difference in terms of ecological footprint if you live in a van or RV as opposed to an ordinary house or flat filled with so much more stuff of any kind with all the related implications (production, transport and all the many other aspects).

    Obviously, it would better to be on, let’s say, „20“ than on „80“ on some sort of „pollution scale“ from 0 to 100. Most vandwellers are right there, or even better than that. That smaller impact on nature’s resources combined with other measures, like, for example, serious birth control (I don’t know where the critical population limit is, above which mother Earth’s resources will not be sufficient for our needs anymore, but it seems that we are getting closer to that situation…), particularly in some (generally very poor) countries of our planet where it’s almost completely inexistent and populations are growing very rapidly, would be a great step in the right direction not necessarily back to the jungle, but to a more balanced and sustainable life and at least to a slowdown of this insane and exponentially growing comsumption/production and resource exploitation mentality.

    (And the big monetary profits made through this continuous „growth“ tend to enrich (financially) a very small part of us humans, but this would be another topic.)

    Certain countries of our planet already look more like landfills or waste dumps than anything else and this will continue to spread out if we won’t change direction, not necessarily stopping everything, which wouldn’t be a very realistic goal, but containing, reducing our consumption, making do with less.

    So, I.M.H.O., having more vandwellers and people in general prepared to consume less, even those who like to have a TV or a few other amenities (I personally would need very little of that) would be a GOOD thing and a step in the right direction.

    • Kat says:

      I highly agree with you Claudio.

    • Drew says:

      Claudio, I think you completely missed my point, but that’s OK. Have a good day.

      • Claudio says:

        “….that vandwellers don’t realize their lifestyle depends on a highly developed consumer infrastructure, which is created and maintained by people that live a conventional lifestyle. The vehicles you drive, the roads you use, the fuels you consume, the stores you frequent, the food and consumer goods that you buy, the medical services and prescriptions you avail yourself of wherever you wander, the cellular internet and satellite TV and solar panels and tech gadgets — these are all products of the conventional consumer culture, and the people that live in that culture. And with big flat-panel TVs…”

        Hi Drew, I just think vandwellers generally *DO* realize all that. That wasn`t meant as some sort of critique, your entry just inspired me to write what I wrote. The mere fact that you are reading this and following this blog shows your interest for (in my eyes) sound topics ;-).

        Have a very nice day

        Claudio

        P.S.: we always talk “vandwellers” here, but the same things/advices/ponderations hold true and are very useful for other off grid people, even for those who live on a “little/small/tiny” grid with a rather minimalistic/frugal way of life, of course. It would be a great progress to come down from a FAT grid to a slimmer one, if not prepared to go all the way 😉

  17. Claudio says:

    „And with big flat-panel TVs and all the rest of consumer trappings set up out in the middle of no place for the purpose of viewing the worst of the worst consumer propaganda (the Superbowl), the RTR doesn’t even look any different than the conventional culture, more like a micro-suburb, to be honest. Why drag all that crap around in a trailer? It’s gross, and reveals a sort of hypocrisy.“

    Just some more observations before I’ll keep my … fingers shut for a while again. (I’ll add that I’m just a „part-time“ vandweller for now, because I’m not alone, so I probably should just shut up…:-). Our daughter will be 18 next year and independent in the near future. Her mother and my best friend, a wonderful lady I have been living together for almost a quarter of a century now, is not as „nomadically inclined“ as I am, but loves nature, too. It will be VERY interesting and I’ll be very curious to see how things will work out :-)…

    What puzzled me a little bit was the word „hypocrisy“ and the passage „doesn’t even look any different than the conventional culture“ (that’s why I do not think to have been THAT off topic, after all, reading between the lines, I felt the expressed views to be a tad extreme).

    On the one hand I really understand it seems a little bit gross seeing those really big rigs/trailers full of stuff from our consumer civilisation (mostly way less full than a flat or house, though) and I would be a much more minimalistic kind of guy. And I generally don’t watch television at all and I don’t care for all those ego and marketing oriented programs. I prefer good books. (And, of course, there are lots of people who own a very big rig full of stuff AND a big house AND an additional house by the sea/lake…)

    As far as the RTR goes, well, that’s a gathering/celebration taking place once a year, I think, that doesn’t represent the day to day lifestyle of most of those people. Normal people, by the way, why shouldn’t they be part of a conventional culture. They do not pretend, as I see it, to have completely abandoned this consumer civilisation, they have just reduced their consumption and impact.

    It shouldn’t be forgotten that „normal“ people, I mean those living on the grid, in houses, have this sort of celebrations, too, BESIDES living in big houses, driving 3 cars and having several hobbies.

    Another thing I imagine when I see, let’s say, 200 people watching TV on 5-10 „big flat-panel TVs“ is: wow, imagine those 200 people in 200 different houses with a flat-panel TV for each one of them. Well, that would have a slightly higher impact on our beloved nature.

    If I decided to move into a van or RV, I wouldn’t feel like an hypocrite just because I continue to use my phone or my computer for writing/reading/skyping with „my“ girls, because I continue to drive that van and to shop at grocery stores and to go to some doctor if needed. I would feel very OK with it and I knew that I‘d leave a smaller footprint than most others.

    „…which is created and maintained by people that live a conventional lifestyle“. Yes, this is mostly true, although I know people who work normally but live in a van. Again, as I see it, it’s not about completely abandoning the conventional lifestyle and the consumer civilisation (it’s just not realistic, although mother nature would like that), but about moderating its impact on nature and our resources.

  18. Christine On says:

    I love reading your more philosophical posts, Bob. (And all your other ones too!) Keep it up!

  19. Michael Billups. says:

    build and buy add and slave away (for what) another of what u don’t really need …..I got layed off from my job lost my house 5 rooms got my van ready to leave everything I don’t need behind I tried keeping up with the Jones too (too much work for nothing so give me the simple life less hassle less stress any day thanks for the info and help Would love to meet you and shake your hand

  20. Patrick says:

    I’ve been saying for years that “We don’t own our stuff, our stuff owns us. We even have to get the best-paying job we can, to buy a BIG house, just to keep our stuff in”… The last time I owned a house, it was about 4000 sq ft. I’m now , thanks in part to your input over the last several months, getting rid of even more stuff. After 10 years of getting rid of stuff, I’m still doing it. The purpose being to be more mobile. I hope to be able to be a nomad. And NOT have a house or apartment. It will be a big change, but worth it, I think.

    Our consumer-driven economy may have provided tools to make it easier to do, but that doesn’t make it right … that’s not hypocrisy… not when you look at the FACT that our comforts are there for us, but there are still starving children in the world. And our “hiding” in our GIGANTIC houses is not healthy for any of us. At least, it’s not for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge