Keeping up with the Joneses

The Jones FamilyThere are some great movies and books out there about how stressful, expensive and destructive trying to “Keep up with the Joneses” can be. I didn’t live through the 50’s and 60’s where a lot of today’s social norms began, so I can’t imagine the pressure that might have existed in a community to try to fit in. I don’t know if there was actually a family named Jones or if they were a mythological family that everyone was trying to be. If the Joneses got a second car, everybody else in the neighborhood had to get a second car. If the Jonesesmoved to the suburbs to a new larger home, everybody else had to move to the suburbs and got a new larger home.  And so on…

However, even though there are still people who try to “Keep up with Joneses” only to put themselves in a deep (often unhappy) financial hole, we now live in a time where more and more people understand that they don’t need to try to have everything and be just like everyone else. As Slow Dwellers we now use any energy we would use trying to keep up with the Joneses spending time with family, going on a bike ride, working less hours, connecting with neighbors, giving back to our community or maybe even just taking an afternoon nap.

As a family, we try to focus getting access only on what we really need and spend the rest of our time with family and friends enjoying connections and experiences. We have way too much stuff as it is now, so I couldn’t imagine how much stuff we would have if we were trying to have everything the “Joneses” do. Beyond the basics, that stuff doesn’t make us happier, it doesn’t make us better off, it only costs us money and more importantly time.

There is something very freeing about embracing what you have, who you are, your beliefs and being comfortable in your own skin.

About CTemp

I am an entrepreneur now turned aspiring eco-entrepreneur. I have always had a green tint to myself, recycling and trying not to be wasteful. With the birth of my oldest daughter, I started to wonder what the world would be like when she got older. As I started to educate myself about what is happening to the basic systems we depend on for life and that we have evolved over the past 100,000 years to survive as a species, I became very concerned about the standard of living my kids would have if we continued on this trajectory. The more I became educated, the more I realized the size of the challenge in front of us and the more drawn I became into trying to figure out a way I could help our planet move in a sustainable direction. I think about resilience (local, durable, equatable, distributed, sustainable,...) as the guiding framework for a better future.
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