Life Lessons - sharing with others? : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Lately I've been tossing around the idea of starting something along the lines of a neighborhood Simple Living/Tightwad Group. Dh and I are amazed at the number of people we know who are living one paycheck away from disaster yet continue their quest for more "stuff" (on credit, of course). On occasion we've been able to share our philosophy and manner of living with others. Once in awhile we find someone, usually a young couple, who want to get off the merry-go-round but don't know where to start.

Yesterday, some things Mitch said to me about sharing what we know gave me additional incentive to pursue my idea. (We were discussing the time/$$ wasted on things that don't really matter in the long run.) I'm not into teaching, but just thinking of inviting some ladies to get together monthly to share ideas, maybe do things like Melissa's "Grocery Challenge", etc. and encourage each other to be satisfied with simple living rather than wasting health, time and other resources chasing empty dreams that won't ever make you happy. Much like what we do here on the forum but on a neighborhood basis.

What do you all think? Years ago I was involved in a leathercraft program called "Each One Teach One." I know we're not going to change the world but if each one of us helped ONE other person....

Suggestions on getting started?

-- Lenette in OR (, February 14, 2002


A couple of ideas come to mind. Our local Extension Homemakers club has a program where they teach young women (mostly young mothers) how to grocery shop, prepare inexpensive and nutritious meals, etc. That might be a vehicle. Also, one of the local churches might be willing to sponsor and provide a place to meet for a similar group. There are literally dozens of young women in every community who are at poverty level yet think Macdonalds is the place to get supper. That thinking pours over into every aspect of their lives. What a great idea to teach them to break that cycle. Mentoring at it's best.

-- melina b. (, February 14, 2002.

You may want to check out the Simple Living Network at They have several resources for starting a simple living study group. Simple Living Network

-- Sherri C in Central Indiana (, February 14, 2002.

You could start a different type of get together, such as walking, quilting, knitting, etc., where you are doing something while you talk. I say this because I am the type of person (and have a friend who is likewise) who has a hard time sitting still to talk. I have to be doing something at the same time. I talk and quilt, talk and knit, etc. I once saw a photograph of some ladies in the 1940's who were gathered on someone's porch. The caption said that they were waiting for their husbands and that they were just chatting together. But several of the ladies (young moms) were knitting away as they talked. That's me!

-- Cathy N. (, February 14, 2002.

I think this is a wonderful idea and wish I were near you so I could join in! Good for you!

You biggest obstacle will probably be the unfortunate fact that most people don't want to change: they want to keep buying more "stuff" on credit; the don't want to cook from scratch to stretch out their grocery allotment, etc.. People look at me like I'm crazy sometimes when I mention that I do these things!!

-- connie in nm (, February 15, 2002.

Thank you all for your answers. I'm thinking I may start very small, with some people I know who are already doing the simple living thing, at least in a small way. To kind of get a core group started. And yes, I will tell them they're welcome to bring their knitting or whatever. :) Then branch out by asking other ladies from church, and elsewhere in the community, if they'd be interested. Some friends of mine run a community food bank through their church, so that would be a great place to issue invitations to those who really need the help.

Of course, like Connie said, there are many who don't want to change and I have no intention of trying to persuade them otherwise. Dh & I have had relatives who whined constantly about their "poverty", yet when you offer suggestions on budgeting, how to save money, or free things you can do for entertainment, they get angry! They don't want to be restricted by a budget, but they do want to eat out 3 times a day, go to the movies, go on trips, drive nice cars etc. like people who are rich. Problem is, they don't even want to work to support such a lifestyle, they want someone else (relatives, government) to GIVE it to them! And my friends who run the food bank have had young women who came claiming they were "starving", throw packages of beans and rice back at them and sneer that they don't know how to cook it and wouldn't eat the stuff if they did. Obviously, you can't change the world. I'm just looking to motivate/encourage people who do want to change but don't know how. (And be encouraged in return.)

Connie, I wish some of you ladies were close enough to join me! Guess I'll have to settle for the sharing of ideas we do on the forum.

-- Lenette (, February 15, 2002.

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