A frugal heart.
We stayed silent by the brazier until far into the night. I once again felt how simple and frugal is the thing called happiness. A glass of wine, a roast of chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else. And all that is required, to feel that here and now is happiness, is a simple, frugal heart” Zorba the Greek. When we cultivate a frugal heart we can enjoy life no matter what the conditions. We know that money might enhance the number of our potential pleasures, but we can also be content with the possibilities we have for enjoyment now. This emboldens us to live more fully and to enjoy living in the present.
A frugal heart frees us to make decisions based on creating the life we want to live, instead of optimizing money at every turn. Many people dedicate their lives to something they couldn’t care less about, because it’s the most profitable path. If we have a frugal heart, we are less likely to go into debt as we don’t need wealth to live the good life. Without the burden of debt, we’re able to make decisions more freely. A frugal heart makes it easier to act honorably and to live a flourishing life. The desire for money weakens and values change as a result.
“Simple pleasures are always the last refuge of the complex” Oscar Wilde. It becomes harder to enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer in a complex and stressful world. We often tell ourselves we have no time. Clicking on social media often happens because of boredom, this subtly creates more complexity and obligations of comparison. We have and create so many obligations, ruminating on the past and worrying about the future. The needy heart enslaves us where as a frugal heart can set us free. The less we expect from others the better our relationships. The simpler the food we eat, the better our health. The less passion we expect from life the more tranquility we’ll have. It’s not to aim for less, but to learn to appreciate less.
“Two different models, two different pictures, are held out to us, according to which we may fashion our own character and behavior the one more gaudy and glittering in its coloring. The other more correct and more exquisitely beautiful in its outline. The one forcing itself upon the notice of every wandering eye. The other, attracting the attention of scarce anybody but the most studious and careful observer. Adam smith.
It’s socially dangerous to enjoy what others consider ordinary. Shunning desire for the extraordinary life we are supposed to “dream” of, in favor of embracing the ordinary life that we normally have. It’s really about having respect for are own personal experience, as we live our everyday life. “Everyday life has been vilified as the worthless residue left behind….the coffee grounds that must be thrown out when the stimulating potion has been brewed. If the everyday is everything that is ignored by official forms of knowledge and authority, this very invisibility gives it the potential for strangeness, freedom and even subversion. Henry lefebvre. Perhaps the bravest thing any of us can do , is to be willing in the ways that truly matter, to be ordinary and embrace the concept of the frugal heart.