Simpler Living Sanity

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  • Media Release 3386

    Simpler Living Sanity



    Jan. '17

    Although much of American culture already stands in opposition to a simpler lifestyle, the prospects of the new national administration and the predominance of regressive state administrations promises to put any progress on the Five Life Standards into reverse.

    SLW! is a non-partisan effort. However, when the political and social forces in our culture become even more contrary to the Five Life Standards of voluntary simplicity, SLW! will make direct and specific suggestions about maintaining sanity in such a toxic atmosphere. We plan to offer Simple Living Sanity each week and archive all the tips on the SLW! site.

    (Here's a review of the Five Life Standards.)

    Voluntary Simplicity is a faithful, effective, satisfying, comprehensive way of life. It is so much more than a hobby. Many young adults now call it Minimalism.

    Some of the suggestions may seem trite compared to the challenges we face. Some may seem overwhelming. Use what you can. Share your successes with others.

    These suggestions are for to your sanity and your loved ones. They may not seem to bring about big changes but they will give you courage to Resist, to Non-Conform Freely [Life Standard #5].

    Simple Living Sanity Suggestions

    #1. Computer Shield. Tape a piece of paper or a large picture of a loved one or a nature scene to your computer monitor. Flip it down to cover three-quarters of the screen when you check your email so that you can't see the news feed of your browser. That way you can still click 'mail' but not be assaulted by the face of a politician who may a remind you of so much that's wrong in our society. Once you're into your mail, flip the paper back up. (1/20/17 - Un-Augural Day)

    #2. Be verbal about your feelings when it may be helpful, such as public petitions in church, 'O Lord, help my mother not lose her Social Security,' or 'O Lord, help my uncle not lose his medical insurance.' If someone gives you false hope later, remind them, 'It will only be OK if we speak up.' (1/27)

    Feb. '17

    #3. Zap the News. Keep the remote control for your TV handy and press Mute when a story comes on that has images or 'news' that may upset you. (I do the same for commercials.) Do not be news illiterate. Instead of following the corporate news outlets, use a reliable source, such as DemocracyNow.org with Amy Goodman. Helpful list. (2/3)

    #4. Read Post-Election Disaster Survival Guide. Select at least one idea from the list to implement in your life. Consider another later. (2/10)

    #5. Join a monthly meeting via Skype, FaceTime, or Google HangOut with other family members who feel as you do. It's not necessary to include 'nay-sayers' -- people who are in compliance with the changes in government, even those who feel 'everything will be OK.' They will just bring you down. You may want to invite them later when they realize that things are not going in their best interest after all. (2/17)

    #6. Affix a bumper sticker or magnet to your car, or wear a t-shirt that lets others know that you are not cooperating with regressive governments. Do not mention politicians by name. If possible, use positive language, such as 'Welcome Refugees.' If you live in a regressive city or area, do not put your safety as risk. (2/24)

    Mar. '17

    #7. Follow a spiritual discipline, such as Christian prayer/meditation, Scripture reading, fasting (food control) and alms giving (philanthropy). (3/3)

    #8. If you have a choice, plan vacations, make purchases, give donations, organize events (conferences, meetings, etc.), in 'blue states' rather than 'red states.' [See list below.] Let your regressive government 'leaders' know about it, anonymously if necessary. People are more likely to see the error of their ways when it affects their pocketbooks. More on 'I Buy Blue' and a list of states by color. (3/10)

    #9. Send a letter to a regressive governor, state legislator, member of US Congress, anonymously is OK, to express your concern. [See sample below] (3/17)

    #10. Join a Resist organization/group locally or online for support. (3/24)

    Apr. '17

    #11. Go outside in your yard and name ten things Trump has no control over, like the trees, flowers, my house, my neighbors, etc. (3/31)

    #12. Pray, asking God to speed the process of investigating Trump's finances and other illegalities; to minimize the impact of his Executive Orders, especially to the Earth; to strengthen the resolve of Resistance. (4/7)

    #13. Sign on to MoveOn.org. They'll send you multiple easy-to-sign petitions and actions. (4/14)

    #14. Put your money where your mouth is. Donate to Meals-on-Wheels, Planned Parenthood, that are being threatened by Executive Orders and the new 'budget.' (4/21)

    #15. When you have negative thoughts about what is going on in DC, do something nice instead, visit a lonely, elderly person; take an elder to lunch. Do something that's in your control. (4/28)

    #16. Invite friends, serve snacks, write postcards to representatives. Have addresses, specifics ready. And/or ask them bring their laptops and sign online petitions together. In Calif. these meetings are called Huddles, originating from the Women's March. (5/5)

    Your Sanity Suggestions are welcome at SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com.

    Some Wise Advice

    I Buy Blue. Won't You Too?

  • Reader Replies and My Response
  • Model Letter to Government Officials

    SLW! eNews #65, Feb., 2017

    We've cancelled our vacation to Alaska and plan to see the fall colors in Vermont instead. More information about 'I Buy Blue. Won't You Too?'

    Hi, Gerald! I am not your typical reader from a 'blue state.' I am from 'red' Oklahoma. However, we have many generous citizens in our state who roll up their sleeves to help their neighbors here and will travel to help their neighbors in blue states in times of need. We don't refuse help to gay, Muslim and we have a woman governor so we are not anti woman. This proposed travel ban to red states is promoting more division in our country and between Christian Brothers and Sisters. Jesus wants us to be unified and politics is a divider. Come to Oklahoma and get to know us better. I think you'll find we have more in common than you think.

    Debbie Stone Hase
    Jennings, Ok

    Thank you, Debbie, for your thoughtful and sincere reply.

    My family lived in Oklahoma back when the honorable David Boren was governor. I earned a master's degree in journalism from OU. Now OK is better known for climate change deniers like Senator Jim Inhofe, and the highly suspicious for OK attorney general Scott Pruitt, now 'administrator' of the EPA. As OK runs out of oil, it is becoming the earthquake capital of the US thanks to the frackers, the dead knell of the fossil fuel industry.

    I don't know your female governor. I wish her well. Having a women senator in Iowa, we've learned that being biologically female does not make one pro-woman. By her actions, Joni Ernst is certainly one of the most anti-woman officials in the US Congress.

    The point of the I Buy Blue campaign is not to promote more division, but to give generous, compassionate people such as yourself the backing that may help to approach the government officials and tell them in language they understand that their regressive policies are not only immoral but that they simply will not work. I Buy Blue is not a ban or a boycott. It says, 'When I have a choice, I prefer blue states and avoid red states.'

    Jesus used language that would reach the people of his time. He used gentle language with the common people and he used strong language with the religious leaders - the fundamentalists - and their Roman allies of the Empire. He called them 'Hypocrites!' and overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple. That they understood.

    The thousands of subscribers to my SLW! eNews are from both blue and red states. Practicioners of voluntary simplicity are both conservatives and progressives. The Five Life Standards of Living More with Less which guide this ministry are both inclusive and exclusive. They welcome all and they do not let anyone hide behind bigotry in the name of religion.

    All the major world religions speak of welcoming the stranger, the immigrant, yet some red states and their newly installed federal allies work to keep immigrants out and to deny services to those who are here. No talk of 'security' can justify such talk.

    The Koch-Brother-funded take-over of states through ALEC - American Legislative Council - is wreaking havoc even in places like my beloved Iowa where they have built offices of the misnamed 'Americans for Prosperity' in every major city. (Yes, it is more appropriately called 'Americans for DISperity.') They have pumped vast amounts of money into state elections from their headquarters in Wichita, and then provided templates for radical profits-over-people legislation, which gullible, busy citizens have bought into.

    We as faithful Christian Americans have several options, none of which are violent. We can RESIST, we can con-conform, we can non-comply with these outrageous policies. We accomplish nothing by 'going along,' by saying 'give 'em a chance,' even worse 'everything will be OK.'

    Feb 4


    Thank you for replying, Gerald. I honestly didn't think you would. There is way too much divisive talk on both political sides. As Christians we have much in common; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, loving God with all of our heart and soul and loving our neighbor as yourself. Our cultures greatly dictate how we do that and that is where our differences begin.

    I hope we can go to the place of what we agree on and build on that instead of drawing further divides. Let unity and love for our Savior begin with us.

    I look forward to reading your blog.


    Some Wise Advice in the Current Crisis

    1. Don't use his name EVER ('45' will do)
    2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone; blame the Republican Administration.
    3. Do not argue with those who support him - it doesn't work;
    4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;
    5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
    6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
    7. Support artists and the arts;
    8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
    9. Take care of yourselves; and
    10. Resist!

    attributed to Bernice King, Feb., 2017

    Model Letter to Government Officials -- Adapt signature and P.S. as you prefer.



    Thank you for your service.

    I'm notifying you -- a government official in a 'red' state -- that your state has been placed on the 'avoid' list for tourism, conferences, regional sporting events, general purchasing and donations, as part of the 'I Buy Blue' campaign. 'Blue' states are on the 'prefer' list.

    If this seems a harsh action to the workers who may suffer from reduced sales, bear in mind:

    1. The majority of the voting citizens in your state voted for a candidate who represents policies that are not in the citizens' best interests -- anti-Earth, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-health, anti-elderly.

    2. Republican members of Congress and of state legislatures have consistently put profits above people.

    Though progressives have the reputation of being conciliatory and compromising, we have learned that it is a waste of time, money and energy to try to negotiate with fundamentalists. We need to speak a language that Republicans (and their evil sister, the Tea Party) can understand -- MONEY. This is a lesson that Pres. Obama in his vanity did not learn. He thought he could 'bring them around.' We are not so naive.

    When you start seeing 'I Buy Blue' cards showing up in your state and on social media, when people start complaining about a drop in business, remember that your active or passive support of Trump's promises then and policies now brought this on yourself.

    You have several options: the slow death status quo, the sudden death of the Trump agenda, or the resurrection of repentance and reform (not privatization). The quality of life of your citizens and the health of the Earth depend on you choosing the latter.

    If you're concerned about the semi-anonymity of this message, realize that we as progressive citizens do not have time to defend ourselves against retaliation or other Republican 'dirty tricks,' which we have experienced abundantly since the Reagan administration, including more recently vote suppression.

    Stan Friend, CEO
    I Buy Blue

    P.S. Before you or your staff try to 'pigeon-hole' me, be aware that I freely and willingly pay my local, state and federal taxes; I attend church every Sunday; I have voted faithfully in the past 40+ years; I am not a member of the Democratic Party nor a Communist!


    'Trifecta' states* also have one party dominance in legislatures and governors' seats

    Blue States - Prefer

    New Hampshire [*red]
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    Rhode Island*

    Red States - Avoid

    No. Carolina
    No. Dakota*
    So. Carolina*
    So. Dakota*
    West Virginia

    Info from: https://ballotpedia.org/State_government_trifectas

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    Page updated 6 May 2017

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