It’s March 22, 2020. The world has been hit by a virus pandemic – COVID-19; at the same time, oil prices are at the lowest in 18 years, AND a global recession is possibly just beginning.
A time of great upheaval. A period of crisis, without a set end. A time of fear and uncertainty.
This may the end of the world as we know it.
How do you feel?
I know I don’t feel exactly fine, but I do know this:
I have been practising and applying practical measures of minimalism and voluntary frugality for a long time. Depending on how you view the situation, this dive into energy descent is a moment of great opportunity in the middle of huge crisis. The coronavirus and ensuing recession will force us to change our ways, for better or worse, and whether we like it or not.
Living with less is going to be the new reality. The question is going to be, how can we make “less” enjoyable?
Is it possible? I firmly believe so.
This is a great bigger picture view of a simpler future, An interview with the co-founder of Permaculture, David Holmgren.
Here’s a download to a very good but short read regarding Permaculture and Energy Descent, written by David: Essence_of_Pc_EN.
Before I talk about why I think it’s totally realistic to expect us to have a fulfilling life with “less”, I want to stress that it’s my personal belief that we -all of us, including the planet itself- will all be better off once we actually learn how to live with less stuff and activities we don’t actually need.
To continue this discussion, I’m going to give a bit of a backstory to my perspective:
What a lot of people don’t realize is why I set off on my journey from Canada to Guatemala by horse. Most people think it was just to travel around and take cool pictures. At least that’s the impression I get from the Facebook crowd. But the meaning of my 2 year long ride by horse was far different. I will explain…
So why did I travel so far with Roxy???
I wanted to go Amish in Guatemala….
It didn’t work out, probably because my dream was naive.
However, I had prepared for years before leaving Canada by living in a frugal off grid manner. I learned a lot before hand and throughout the trip, as well as once I reached Guatemala. Once I realized my dream and goal wasn’t going to happen, I returned to Mexico on a second long ride, settling in Queretaro, where I now teach English. Queretaro was my favorite part from the first ride. Great people, geography, safe and good economy.
Since January, I’m in the middle of making plans to move to my friends neighborhood in Sierra Gorda to teach his family English and help at his sustainable farm. (More on that later, I don’t like to jinx myself before things happen). Let’s just say that that environment is a perfect place for me, as it combines the best of organic agriculture, ecology diversity, and minimalist living.
So what does this have to do with the current global crisis? Well, first off, I think you really have to live in line with your values. Integrity is everything. However, I chose to try and live a lifestyle in integrity with nature many, many years ago. I know that for most people, it’s just an afterthought….
Moving forward… Mother Nature doesn’t fvck around. We do. I think it’s time for us to make better choices more in line with the needs of both our selves, our society, but ALSO, our planet. It’s all connected.
For some of us, these transitions and learning curves will end up being really steep and at times, painful. But out of this will come a deeper and clearer perspective. I know that personally, a bad financial experience I had after the last recession, helped me to see things in a much more mature way.
Whatever may happen, know that you’re not alone, and that you are stronger than you think. These moments of crisis are catalysts for a better reality.