contemporary culture is plagued by the passion to possess. the unreasoned boast abounds that the good life is found in accumulation, that “more is better.” indeed, we often accept this notion without questions, with the result that the lust for affluence in contemporary society has become psychotic: it has completely lost touch with reality. futhermore, the pace of the modern world accentuates our sense of being fractured and fragmented. we feel strained, hurried, breathless. the complexity of rushing to achieve and accumulate more and more frequently threatens to overwhelm us; it seems there is no escape from the rat race.
simplicity frees us from this modern mania. it brings sanctity to our compulsive extravagence, and peace to our frantic spirit. it allows us to see material things for what they are – goods to enhance life, not to oppress life. people once again become more important than possessions. simplicity enables us to live lives of integrity in the face of the terrible realities of our global village
richard foster, 1981