Sachs, Wolfgang. Greening the North. New York: 1998. ISBN 1856495078 Page 199
A revolution in efficiency (accelerated intra-sectoral structural change) is certainly of central significance for an ecologically and economically sustainable Germany. However, it is improbable that such changes are sufficient – while economic growth continues – to achieve a reduction in material flows to the degree thought necessary in this study.
From issue no. 1, april-june 1996 the international herald of tastes
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Vienne, Veronique. The Art of Doing Nothing. New York: 1998. ISBN 0609600745, Page 81
When Silence Is Golden
So, you are an expert on German typography, Japanese puppetry, or French cuisine? Don’t bring the subject up in public. The English describe a gentleman as someone who can play the bagpipes—but doesn’t.
Not talking about your favorite subject will keep it that way.
Not getting recognition will ensure you don’t become complacent.
Not strutting your stuff in front of new acquaintances will endear you to your old friends.
Not letting the world in on your secret passion will add to your mystery.
Not bragging will ward off envy.
Not tooting your horn will save you from becoming a bore.
Not saying anything when you have nothing to say will always prove wise.
Not asking for the answer will give you time to ponder the question.
William Ellery Channing, in Earth Prayers From Around The World, edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon, New York: 1991 ISBN 006250746, Page 10
To live content with small means,
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion,
to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich,
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart,
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
hurry never —
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
Jackson, Wes Becoming Native to This Place, 1997. ISBN 0300069669, Page 155
I have a friend, Leland, who gets by on five hundred dollars a year. He lives in a six-by-sixteen-foot shack. He began his journey some twenty-five years ago. In some respects, he’s more important to me than Thoreau, for Thoreau’s tenure at Walden was brief. Leland’s idea is that once we start seeking pleasure, we start doing violence to people and to the landscape. He says there’s nothing wrong with the experience of pleasure, but when you start seeking pleasure, violence happens. He believes that my intellectual pursuits, for example, are a form of pleasure-seeking, that they create a kind of violence. he even quite growing his beautiful garden because he thought that too was a form of pleasure-seeking; now he just harvests the greens that grow wild in the yard and lives mostly on wheat. Leland took out Social Security because his wife, who lives in the house—he lives in the shack, less than a hundred yards away—felt she needed three hundred dollars a month to live on. He could get four hundred dollars from Social Security, and she could get two hundred, and because she needed only three hundred, he had three hundred dollars a month piling up in the bank. This money was making him have “creative thoughts,” which he thought might start causing violence. So he scratched his name off Social Security and says he’s a free man again. There are other ways to think about living in the world, but Leland is important to me because he’s the most bottom-line person I know. He is very careful not to be judgmental of others. Seeing his example has made me pretty impatient with people who say, “We just can’t make it.”
Spoken by Kevin Spacey, starring as Lester Burnham in American Beauty, Dreamworks 1999
I guess I could be pretty pissed about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel I am seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart feels like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I relax and stop trying to hold onto it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid life. You have no idea what I am talking about, I’m sure, but don’t worry, you will, someday.
Conari Press, Random Acts Of Kindness California: 1993 ISBN 0943233445, Page 3
The world—embattled, divided, discouraged, bone weary with its dog-eat-dog mentality—becomes newly laced with the sweetness of imaginatively unpremeditated love. Its atmosphere alters. Quietly, almost imperceptibly, because of the little kindnesses that have been unleashed upon it, it will begin to sing. And you too will be changed.
Overdoing things is harmful in all cases, even when it comes to efficiency.