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Cutting Through the Clutter

Members of Circle of Mercy in Asheville, North Carolina formed a Frugal/Simple/Ethical Living Group that met over the summer months to discuss such issues as housing, food, health care, travel/transportation, communication/electronics, and decluttering. 

Leader Terri Farless reports, “People had good ideas and a broad range of experiences on how to deal with these ethically and frugally. Some of the most interesting conversations were around intentional community (or being more intentional about community) and getting rid of clutter.  People felt really strongly about holding each other accountable for clearing junk out of our lives.  One evening we each committed to getting rid of 5 things we didn't need over the week. One woman came back and had given 14 boxes to Goodwill.” 

One member created the following list of questions that the group used for reflection:

Queries: Community, Trust and Consumption

  • What would it look like to live increasingly in spaces and ways that are more proximate and shareable?
  • Can we place our trust in reciprocal generosity - a revised “what goes around comes around?”
  • Can elegance and equity reside at ease within our life choices?
  • Where can we create spaces that give way to experiments in community:  households, common lands, neighborhoods, guilds, villages, commonwealths, cross-border companions?
  • Can we discover and invest ourselves in labors and vocations that bend us toward joy, justice, collaboration, care, and change?
  • Will we associate and carry ourselves in ways that gently ask the next questions of each other, remembering our initial, incremental steps and holding them out for one another?
  • Is it possible to gift ourselves with a few abundant things that beg to be exchanged and abandon the many scarce things that beg to be held closely?

If you’d like to learn more about how and why the group gathered, contact Terri Farless [email protected].

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