Mark Tabb won't ignore the facts about the hectic pace of modern life that we are, ironically, often too tired to acknowledge and change. In his candid and spiritually insightful Living with Less, he declares, "The only way to get more out of life is to choose less. Less stuff. Less activity. Less wanting more....May God give us the courage to choose less stress in order that we might experience more of the life he has planned for us."
Because this book's title, Living with Less: The Upside of Downsizing Your Life, implies it will provide specific help for readers who want to "cut back," it is only fair to begin a review of it by pointing out what the book does not give readers. There are no financial budgeting systems by which to earn less money while still meeting expenses for daily life; there are no time management plans by which to add hours to your day for leisure time and cultural activities while still living up to your family and job responsibilities; and there are no magic formulas by which you can relax more while still staying faithful to an exercise regime for good health. This book doesn't cover pragmatic solutions for today's world.
Instead, Tabb explores how to enhance one's personal character by developing humility, cutting back to a slower pace, and enhancing a sense of servitude to others. The value of this book is that it causes individuals to question what is of genuine merit in their lives. Tabb makes some good points about how we need to listen more to other people, share more, teach more, love more, and appreciate more. He quotes everyone from Solomon to Dave Barry in making the point that accumulating "stuff" is not the secret of happiness.
My recommendation is not to read the book in one or two sittings, as I did, because of its repetition of theme and examples. However, reading one chapter every week or so can provide perspective regarding the need to pull back a bit from the hectic antics of our break-neck-speed world. Even the Bible tells us to be temperate in all things. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
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