Category: gandhi


inspiring

http://www.rd-india.com/newsite/other/facetoface_dec10.asp   My philosophy in life is simple: If doing something makes you worried, then it must be a wrong thing. If it makes you happy, then you must have done the right thing. What others say is not important,” says Chen. She is content with what she has and feels that as long as she lives a life she wishes for and does the things she wants, “that is good enough.”  Has business improved after winning the award? “Business is as usual,” Chen says. “I still need to sell my vegetables, not much has changed.” Advertisers have approached her to film commercials, financial managers have offered to manage her finances and other well-wishers have offered to donate money. Chen rejects these advances politely. “It is easy to return borrowed money, but difficult to return a favour,” she says.
“I have to be very careful in handling money matters,” she adds. Even when customers tip her, she refuses to accept any of it. “Buying from my stall is already a form of support,” she explains.

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Chen’s ability to give away such large sums of money has led many to ask, How can a mere vegetable seller earn so much?
“Spend only what you need, and you’ll be able to save a lot!” says Chen. Since 1996, she has been donating NT$36,000 to help three children in the Kids Alive International organization. To achieve this, Chen explains that she empties her loose change into three little cardboard boxes at home every night. “This is a simple act that can be done by anyone, isn’t it?” she says.
Chen leads a very simple life without any luxuries. Neither does she have any desire for material gains or any form of enjoyment. Work, she says, is her enjoyment. “I love my work. If I didn’t, would I be able to work 16 hours a day?”
All she needs is food and a place to sleep. Everything else is a luxury. She does not buy expensive clothes. “I do not socialize much, hence there is no need for beautiful clothes. The clothes from the roadside stalls are good enough for me, and even then, I like to bargain.” Her daily meals cost little: a vegetarian rice dish and a bowl of noodles. Freeze whatever cannot be finished, buy a can of gluten and add that to the rice with some hot water. “This becomes porridge and is very tasty,” says Chen.
She also sleeps on the hard floor, a habit from her younger days when she first started working at the vegetable stall. The comfort of her warm bed made getting up early to go to the wholesaler very difficult, especially during the cold winter months. Hence Chen made up her mind to sleep on the cold floor, where she would not run the risk of being late.

“I have done nothing extraordinary and everyone who wants to can do it. There are many other charitable people; we just don’t know about them.” Chen, who is unmarried, adds, “I do not place great importance on money. When I donate to help others, I feel at peace, I’m  happy, and I can sleep well at night.” She also feels for the poor, having experienced hardship in her younger days.

After the morning hustle and bustle, the atmosphere at Central Market in Taiwan’s Taitung county quietens as every stall shuts for the day and the owners return to the comfort of their homes. A lone lamp shines on a vegetable stall. With head bowed, Chen Shu-Chu, who turns 60 this month, silently sorts vegetables as she waits for the occasional afternoon customer. Decades of hard work has caused the fingers on her right hands to look gnarled, its joints swollen; her feet are slightly deformed.
Chen has a daily routine—waking up at 3am, she makes her way to the vegetable wholesaler and sets up her stall, which she tends till seven or eight in the evening. The first to arrive in the dark, damp market and the last to leave, other stall-owners have fondly nicknamed her ‘market manager.’
Chen holds the stall her father left her dearly. Yuan-Jin Vegetables is her everything. Selling at “a bundle for 30 dollars*, three bundles for 50,” Chen earns only marginal profits. Yet, her frugality has allowed her to donate about NT$10 million (nearly Rs1.5 crore) towards various charitable causes, including helping schools, orphanages and poor children.

http://zenhabits.net/tags/simplicity/


Gandhi led by example with a life of simplicity.

Would you like to learn some lessons in life from the ultimate minimalist?

Gandhi’s life offers us many key lessons — he practiced simplicity and minimalism in all areas of his life and he left behind a huge legacy in how to live a life of simplicity.

Gandhi was indeed the ultimate minimalist – a man who died a pauper but who affected the lives of many – and continues to inspire us with his message even today.

When Gandhi died, he had less than ten possessions including a watch, spectacles, sandals and eating bowl. He was a man of non-possession and didn’t even possess a house.

“You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.” ~Gandhi

Gandhi was actually born into a prosperous family and had a very privileged upbringing, which included a prestigious education in England in the days when travel from India to England took many months by sea. He studied Law at University College in London and he was subsequently invited to join the Bar there.

Though born into wealth, he ultimately gave it all away and through the course of his life managed to let go of material trappings. He followed a life of simplicity.

1. Accumulate little

Gandhi believed in possessing little except the clothes he wore and some utensils for cooking and eating. He used to give away or auction any gift that was ever given to him.

It may not be possible these days for us to get down to less than ten possessions like Gandhi did, but start cutting down to bare basics. Recycle, give things away, or auction your unwanted possessions.

Take up the 100 thing challenge and see if you can get down to owning less than 100 or even less than 50 things.

We tend to spend a lot of time and energy looking after our possessions. By having fewer things to possess and look after, your life naturally becomes simpler.

Gandhi's life belongings

2. Eat simple food

Gandhi never had a problem with being overweight. He followed a strict vegetarian diet and frequently cooked his own simple food, which was locally produced.

He ate this simple food from a small bowl, a reminder to eat moderately, and at the same time he ate mindfully, often accompanied by prayers.

So eat simply and moderately.

3. Dress simply.

Gandhi wore simple clothes that conveyed his message.

There is this anecdotal story of the time when Gandhi met the King of Great Britain in London and he wore his simple wrap around cloth.

A journalist asked Gandhi, “Mr Gandhi, did you feel under-dressed when you met the King?”

Gandhi replied, “The King was wearing enough clothes for both of us!”

Though it may not be practical to weave your own cloth and make your own clothes, you can simplify your life by dressing for comfort, not to impress.

A simple hairstyle can shorten your grooming routine. You could even go as far as Gandhi and Leo Babauta and shave your hair off.

4. Lead a simple, stress-free life

Gandhi never got stressed. He meditated daily and spent hours in reflection and prayer.

Though he was a world leader and idolised by millions, he continued to lead a simple life with few distractions and commitments. He would even interrupt his political meetings to go off and play with children.

And despite all his needs being taken care off, Gandhi still insisted on doing his own simple things. He advocated self-sufficiency and simple work.

So don’t take life too seriously — remember to take time out to play.

5. Let your life be your message

Though he was a prolific writer and powerful speaker, in private Gandhi spoke very quietly and only when necessary. He was also very punchy and concise in his writing.

He preferred to let his life do the talking for him.

By living a simple life, Gandhi was able to devote his life to his chosen higher purpose. He was totally focussed on his commitment to his people and the world.

Even if you don’t wish to be another Gandhi, your life will be much simpler and happier by following his life lessons.

“If one has wealth, it does not mean that it should be thrown away and wife and children should be turned out of doors. It simply means that one must give up attachment of these things!” ~Gandhi

Start living a simpler life from today — and you will release a lot of time and energy. This will give you the space to create the life you really want to live, a life that is inspired and inspiring.

So does what you do and how you live convey your message to the world?