Catherine Whitmire's book of contemporary and historic Quaker voices reads like an antidote to consumer-driven despair. We all know the spiritual downfall of compulsively acquiring material goods (or what Quakers refer to as "cumber"); how it leads to a frantic-paced lifestyle built around working long hours so we can buy more stuff. In assembling Plain Living, a collection of paragraph-long quotes, Whitmire offers readers a simple and soothing alternative--the path that Quakers call "plain living." "We have chosen lives that crowd our appointment books, fill our email boxes, and overload our answering machines, even as we long for a plainer way of living--one that will free us from the strain and activity of these times," writes Whitmire. "The Spirit is speaking through the whirlwind of modern life, and if we listen quietly to the cool, calm Center within, there is an invitation to plain living awaiting us."
In the early chapters readers will find inspiration for laying down their interior and exterior cumber. The book's wisdom eventually expands into other important Quaker values, such as "Parenting and Mentoring," "Practicing Non-Violence," and "Listening to the Earth." Ultimately, this is a book with a long shelf life, offering timeless quotations on living the life worth living. --Gail Hudson [via]