Tag Archives: Elise Boulding

frugality is a beautiful word

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet it is one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumptive society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. — Elise Boulding

We live in a world obsessed with acquisition and consumerism. It’s an obsession that pervades every aspect of our lives.

In a world where more is better and “super-size it” is a way of life even a mention of frugality seems awkward and out of place. Yet Boulding is absolute correct when she points out that there is a far deeper happiness, even a true joy, in not having things.

The more material possessions we have, the more our life is controlled by them. We actually become the possessed rather that the possessor.

True joy can never be achieved through more stuff. Trust me on this. It is just never going to happen.

Here’s an easy challenge. Go through your closet and take out two or three shirts/blouses that you haven’t worn in a year (or three). Do the same with just a couple pair pants that you know no longer fit. Throw in a couple pair of old shoes you know you are never going to wear. Give them away.

Not only will someone in need benefit from your donation, you will experience the joy of giving. You will also have a little more room in your closet.

Repeat the challenge until you are comfortable with the idea that less is really more, and that frugality is indeed a beautiful word.