I enjoyed reading the sentiments expressed in Amy Chavez’s Feb. 25 column, “Austerity — we’ve embraced it in the countryside.” As an young American adult who went through adolescence in the transitional times of the 1990s and early 2000s, I feel that some of these ideas of simplicity ring true in my perspective on life, even as I feel somewhat dependent on modern-day conveniences.
Having grown up in an relatively poor urban area in the Midwestern United States, I have a good sense of what it means to live an austere life. Values of thrift and simplicity still hold in my background today. Although I feel the need to be tied to today’s lifestyle of constant Internet, television and social contact, which comes with technology and urban life, I feel that I could abandon it all in a heartbeat if there was an opportunity to move to the country and live more simply — closer to the values I was raised on.
I do feel sad for those who don’t understand what it is like to do without, or who cannot understand what it is like to be unplugged from the world, so to speak. It seems that today’s cultures, on both sides of the Pacific, are so driven by technology, status and wealth that people don’t want to become simpler. To many, I’m sure it would be a step backward, but for me, it would be a welcome change from the manic world we are living in today.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.