A Favorite Quotation, and a YouTube Video You Won’t Soon Forget

A Favorite Quotation, and a YouTube Video You Won’t Soon Forget

I try not to be too redundant on this website — to simply say the same stuff over and over. I try to mix it up a bit, to make things more interesting — while sticking to the central theme of saving the planet.

However, this quotation I am about to share with you, might look familiar. I think this is the third time now that it appears on this website. I last included it on this page about two years ago. And it is also on my Quotations page. I originally found it a very long time ago, on a website that included lots of quotations related to environmentalism. I just absolutely love this quotation. And the sentiments expressed in it are so especially fitting this time of year. These are the words of Devla Murphy:

The multiple threats to the Earth are so complex that in most cases they seem beyond the reach of an average citizen’s influence. Yet we can all launch a personal campaign to reduce consumption — though perhaps only after a change of mind-set, to overcome the fear of seeming poor, parsimonious or eccentric. This does not mean being deprived or uncomfortable. It simply means stopping to think, before each purchase, ‘Do I really need this?’ For years a small minority has been living and thinking thus. If a large majority did likewise — if frugality and shabbiness could become trendy — then the Earth, though not saved, would be measurably less endangered. — Dervla Murphy, Irish author

I appreciate the fact that she points out (“though not saved”) we shouldn’t view this as being the solution. Saving the planet is far more complicated than merely reducing the size of our consumerism footprint.

After all these years, I still don’t know much about Murphy. Wikipedia describes Murphy as “an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books.” It states she “is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, about an overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.” It also states that she “normally traveled alone and unaided, without luxuries and depending on the hospitality of local people.” The next two sentences, I found a bit amusing. It continues: “She has been in dangerous situations; for example, she was attacked by wolves in the former Yugoslavia, threatened by soldiers in Ethiopia, and robbed in Siberia. However, she described her worst incident as tripping over cats at home and shattering her left arm.” Ouch! But isn’t it ironic how her own cats represented a greater danger to her health and safety than did those attacking wolves, those armed soldiers in Ethiopia, or those armed robbers in Siberia?

Something else I am going to share with you today is a 34-minute YouTube video I stumbled upon several weeks ago. The title of the video is “Dan Price’s underground home, art & philosophy on $5,000/year.” The YouTube channel is: Kirsten Dirksen. The video was published over two years ago and has been viewed roughly 900,000 times.

At one point in this video, Dan Price states (and I am paraphrasing): “How much do you really need? You sleep, eat, read a book.” This video provides food for thought on the topic of simple living — Price also wrote the book Radical Simplicity. He doesn’t have many shirts … but he has enough.  He doesn’t have a refrigerator. This video is a testament to the extent to which we overeat and overindulge our tastebuds — including our consumerism “tastebuds.” I think you’ll enjoy watching this video.

Note: YouTube allows you to speed up videos and watch them in half the time.