Elegant Simplicity is one of our favourite books. Ecological writer Satish Kumar was raised in India and became a Jain monk at an early age, before leaving in his teens to travel the world as a peace pilgrim. Once in England, he met his wife and has written many wonderful books, edited an environmental magazine from his kitchen table for over 30 years and founded a small school.
There’s real wisdom here. Satish comes from a different viewpoint on how to save the planet. He doesn’t believe the answer is in green gadgets or wind turbines, but rather people living simply in harmony with nature. He says that you can’t solve problems by the same mentality that created them (say replacing nuclear power with wind power). And you can’t have world peace by ‘churning butter to make sand’. In other words, throwing statues covered in toxic paint into rivers, does not solve racism, as it’s kind of the same mentality (anger and resentment) that created it.
In this book, he looks at alternative philosophies of living to solve our environmental and spiritual crises. Distilling five decades of wisdom from a former monk into a guide that anyone can read, you’ll love this because Satish can truly write. This is a book for anyone fed up of the relentless treadmill of competition and consumption, and simply wants to live a simple life, in harmony with the earth and all who live in it. An absolute gem!