Monday, April 30, 2007

Quick Query #17: Country or City Living?

Lately, many different Christian bloggers have been writing about the virtue of simplicity. Specifically, these people are trying to slow down the pace of life, simplify the way they live, and each for his/her own specific reasons. Some of those reasons include: pace of life, time together as a family, ecological impact, and intentionally not buying into the materialism and "bigger is better" attitude that so permeates America. Essentially, opting out of the so-called "American dream", and choosing instead to design their own family life.

One reason this is so interesting to me is because when we lived in China, we lived within about an 8-10 mile radius. Occasionally we took trips up into the mountains and went farther than that, but our friends, school, shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and everything else we needed was easily with an 8-mile radius of our home. So you can imagine our reverse culture shock when we came back to the States... it took SO LONG to get
anywhere! 30- and 45-minute rides in the car are just a fact of life, in most places in America.

So, my question for you is this: If you were going to simplify your life, which one of these "plans" would you most like to pursue and why?

  • A: AMY'S HUMBLE LIFE: "Oh give me a home with acreage to roam, where the cows and the four-year-olds play..." Amy's plan includes buying land, having land to give to children, possibly having a vineyard and an orchard and room for some livestock, virtually living off the land.
  • B: SARA'S CITYSCAPE: "Oh give me a home with no styrofoam, where the hippies and vegans eat whey..." Silly song aside, Sara lives an ecologically-consciencious life, buying locally, eating fresh and healthy, living in a very small space (382 sq. ft. for a family of three!), and even growing dreads to the glory of God!
Now I know, it's not about where you live- it's HOW you live. An article that made this very point is what actually inspired this post. She points out that it's more about living frugally, living within your means, and making deliberate choices to simplify and slow down your family's life.

Nonetheless, today, if you're going to participate in this Quick Query, your choices are what you find above; there's no "other" in this query. Both plans provide a method for simple living, with an eye for being a better steward of the earth, but they go about it in very different ways. You may choose a plan and disagree with certain aspects, or choose to go about it a different way; that's fine. But tell which you'd choose and what you see as the advantages of that particular choice.

So, let's hear it! Which one would you choose?


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