Excerpts from

Living More With Less

by D.J. Longacre


Being at home with the earth

"For too long we've tried adjusing the environment to our living style. Heating and cooling we call 'climate control.' It's time to think about controlling ourselves."

"I can't help noticing how people spend money for labor-saving devices, then more money for exercisers." [Said of Americans and their cars]"They can list with faithful accuracy each model they acquired through the years, how much they paid for each one, its main faults, and why they traded it in -- but they couldn't list as many close friends."
--from a correspondent of the author in Kansas.

"Our life was so simplified while working in Haiti as medical doctors that it's hard to share this experience. Our home had no running water, electricity, plumbing, refrigerator, or stove. Although we don't advocate this as the way everyone should live, we learned some things from our experience...

Since we're back in the United States, we wonder what a simple lifestyle means in terms of dollars and cents. We called the local welfare department to find out the allotment for a family of five in food and clothing. Then we put ourselves on this budget. It has certainly made us appreciate the difficulty of staying within these allowances and greatly increased our respect for the welfare recipient! We are forced to eat simply, as well as to make do with clothing."
--from a correspondent of the author in New Mexico.

Nurture, Contentment, and Health

"Medical experts now estimate that 80 percent of diseases are directly linked to frantic living...
Dr. Nedra Belloc studied the relationship between living patterns and life expectancy. She centered on these habits:

--Three meals a day, avoiding snacks
--Breakfact every day
--Moderate exercise two or three times a week
--Seven or eight hours of sleep at night
--No smoking
--Moderate weight
--No alcohol, or only in moderation

Belloc found that a 45-year-old man with six or seven of these habits could expect to live eleven years longer than one with only two or three.** A study by Belloc and Dr. Lester Breslow indicated that a man who had six or seven of these habits was a healthy as a man thirty years younger who had only one or two. The significance of this finding jumps into focus when you consider that between 1900 and 1970, life expectancy for white forty-year-old men increased by only half a year, despite al medical advances of that period.**
[**D.M. Vickery, Life Plan for Your Health, 1978]

In other words, doctors and pills don't work the big miracles. It's the way we live that counts.

"The fallow ground of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away through injustice." --Proverbs 13:23

"It is better to eat soup with someone you love than steak with someone you hate. --Proverbs 15:17

"One of our most pervasive notions is that time is money. That most, assuredly, is not in the Bible. Indeed, as far as I have been able to determine, the idea is found in no language except English nor in any culture outside North America..."

"According to Lutheran pastor Wallace Fisher, Jesus spoke five times as much about money and earthly possessions as about prayer."

Neighbors on the planet

"I never get used to the long shelves of pet foods in American stores. Recently I read that it takes up more shelf space than even breadfast foods and that Americans spend $2.5 billion a year on it -- enough to feed one third of the world's hungry! I am unprepared for this devotion to animals.

There are multitudes of reasons for having pets. But I find myself haunted by the hungry look of Africa as well as America. In some cases it is hunger for food but other times it is a cry for a human touch. Can we take the risk of lavishing our food, time and love on fellow humans? This is more rigorous but is the way to life and wholeness."
-- the author quoting a correspondent in Pennsylvania.

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