“Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition.
It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within,
as well as avoidance of exterior clutter,
of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life.

It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires,
a partial restraint in some directions
in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions.

It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose.

Of course, as different people have different purposes in life,
what is relevant to the purpose of one person
might not be relevant to the purpose of another…

The degree of simplification is a matter for each individual to settle for himself.”

–Richard Gregg (written in 1936)

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Barbara S.

So true!


“Live simply, so that others may simply live” is my creed BUT when I am attempting to go about living simply, I can’t help but notice the remainder who are constantly striving to consume us all into the ground. Everyone needs to live more simply. It is almost past the time where we get to “choose” any more. First world countries are living in a false sense of plenty where the evidence is that we can’t sustain our way of living or consuming any more. We NEED to learn to live simply and with less because the day is coming when we won’t have a choice any more.


I found it interesting that Mr. Gregg wrote this in 1936. It just goes to prove that the best ideas have lasting value and that the simplicity idea is not some new age foolishness. This is a wonderful blog. I thank you.

Suki D. (living in Japan)

I really like this quote and it reflects my own personal beliefs almost to the letter although I have never seen this quote before today. Shirley – you said in one of your posts that you love the concept of voluntary simplicity. That’s how I feel too. I want to be in charge of my life and shape it to suit myself. Your blog has been extremely helpful and inspirational along this line for me.


I like the quote, but I really love that picture, and I have to say — all the pictures in this wonderful blog. Keep up the great work.

WaltraudM (Stuttgart)

I really look forward to reading your quotes. This one is especially good. It proves that the best ideas are timeless.