Sunday, March 05, 2006

Small Houses

by Skald

"What if small were fashionable? Is it just me, or have we hit some sort of consumer zenith? Our meals, houses and automobiles are supersized, but the sheer number of things we own, or are told we must own, has also grown exponentially in the past few years. All this stuff cannot help but add to the high stress levels Americans report in their lives.

What if small were to become fashionable? What if we were to decide, as a community, that quality mattered more than quantity? What if we had to move into spaces half the size we now occupy? Besides solving not a few local housing problems, how liberating would that be?"

--Lynette Evans (San Francisco Chronicle)

The above quote is from a column in a mainstream newspaper. Could it be that hobopoet principles are seeping into more mainstream channels? Could it be that a few good citizens are finally tiring of the stress associated with insatiable consumption?

Whether this is the case or not, what's clear is that the current lifestyle is not sustainable. It will come crashing down. As the world's population expands, as China/India and others approximate the American lifestyle... huge strains will occur. We are already hearing warnings about "the end of oil". Climatologists are warning that global warming may, in fact, be occurring much faster than theyd originally thought. Fresh water supplies are already under strain in many countries.. particularly in Asia.

Can the world support American-lifestyles in China? India? Brazil? Thailand? Indeed, can the American economy support these lifestyles much longer? As debt and oil prices rise, something must eventually give.

These ideas are no longer considered radical. They are popping up in mainstream papers throughout the world.. not in large numbers.. but still, you can sense a slow realization.

Remember this: As hobopoets, we are in the vanguard. For personal and public reasons, we've realized the benefits of simplicity. While we may feel isolated and misunderstood, our lifestyle will increasingly make sense to ever-larger numbers of people.

By necessity, the hobopoet way is the way of the future.

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