What we can learn from Europeans

Coffee CupI have just come back from Europe and I already miss the food! So good! People there know how to enjoy food and the sweet life – La Dolce Vita. It’s not a quick in and out “buy something to go” but a place where people sit down and enjoy a nice coffee brought to the table in a china cup and saucer! If you like sugar, there is a sugar dispenser on the table – no little packets that have a feel of fast food and create garbage.

I am German and grew up there, but I have lived in Canada for the last 20 years and now going back to my parent’s kitchen in Germany makes me feel like a giant in a toy store – I am always taken aback by how small things are in Europe compared to how big they are in North America.

Here, most people love BIG – big cars, big houses with big entertainment units, big BBQs, big closets, big stainless steel fridges to fill up with everything we might ever want.

Big – big – big!

Do we really need all of this? Does it give us quality of life?

Here is some food for thought.

New LifeReasons to simplify:

  • Less stress. Always keeping up with the Jones’s is stressful and not worth it. You don’t know what’s going on in your neighbour’s lives.
  • More time. Every item you buy needs care. Are you willing to sacrifice the little time you have on maintaining your purchases?
  • Better health. Possessions are huge distractions and require a lot of our time. How about catching up with a friend or taking your dog for a walk instead?
  • More money in your pocket. Nowadays technology alone can eat up your bank account. Try to invest in new technology only if it solves a problem your “old” piece of equipment can’t solve. New technology sounds fascinating but often brings a boatload of different problems. Educate yourself!
  • More happiness. Start appreciating the people in your life and the beautiful things you already own. You loved them when you bought them, right?
  • Freedom from consumerism. You make the decision when and what to buy or not to buy. Don’t fall for payback plans that extend over several years. It sounds good but it really isn’t.
  • Small can be beautiful. Enjoy!

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