The fault of our economic system these days is that it doesn’t know what enough is. That is, enough is never enough unless it involves a little bit more. So goes the logic of the economic thought for the last century and more, particularly in America. Unfortunately, there are few checks and balances on this line of thought. Schools can’t educate people on what enough means. Messages from nearly every sector of society revolve around the perceived need for more.
For Rick Zemlin, he checked in with his Catholic upbringing and chose to model his lives on the saints—people who embodied the noble goals he’d pursue, and people he notes were not of the middle and upper classes of society. A Peace Corps term in the Philippines also gave him a vision of what true poverty was and how he might conduct himself with regard to his earning and consumption habits in order to lessen the disparity of wealth between the people he saw and his own earning potential in the States. Out of that awareness, his career in non-profit and charitable organizations grew.
Choosing to live on a budget of around $10,000 a year, Rick tells how his consciousness has been shaped, how he determines what is enough for him. It isn’t a prescription for everyone else, but for those who are looking for ways to adjust to a new standard of living suitable for one Earth, Rick might be inspiring. He gives conceptual and practical examples of how one can live a dignified life with less, forgoing the things that might distract him from the spiritually-satisfying life he has led for decades now.