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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Be a Cheapskate

As the old song goes, "The best things in life are free." The song gives us a list: the moon, the stars, flowers in spring, the robins that sing, the sunbeams that shine, and the Greatest Gift of All, Love.

But what do we want? Money. Or stuff. Or money and stuff.

So the great American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau (who knew a thing or two about getting by on the cheap) suggested we adjust our sights: "That man is richest," he said, "whose pleasures are cheapest."

This just turns everything upside down. We think the person who takes pleasure in going to Club Med, wearing a Rolex, driving a Ferrari, is the rich one.

Thoreau says it’s the guy who takes pleasure in walking in the woods, wearing a Timex, and taking the bus.

So downgrade a little. Learn to take pleasure in simple things. Be a cheapskate.

You'll be happier.


  1. You couldn't be more right. I once heard that work is not what we live for, work is just financing your time off. If we can't love and enjoy the simple things in life, we can never be truly happy.

  2. Great concept, "Maybe." Did you know that in Walden Thoreau claims that he only worked a total of about six weeks a year? That's what happens when we learn how to really simplify: MUCH more leisure!

  3. Bertrand Russel advocated working half time only.
    I've never been happier.
    Thanks so much for posting.