Once upon a time, I would’ve had a lot of respect for people who were minimalists on principle. Back in ’98–’99, when I was all into the Back to the Land movement, reading all about it, I had thought it was neat for people to move to rural areas and make a go of it—poverty by choice. Well, if it’s by choice, it isn’t exactly poverty—it’s minimalism, or something. There is that quote about a man is rich judging by the fewer things he needs. That’s not quite it. The idea is, if you have big needs, you’ll never be rich, but if your needs are small, you can be rich (which is sorta true of humans psychologically—even wealthy people feel they need more—and we did play Lottery last night. Cal at Marathon pointed to the $270 million pot, and asked if I wanted some. I hadn’t been thinking about it, but I followed his suggestions, got $5 worth, including $2 from last week or so, when I got the Money Ball correct.)
But, and maybe here’s a lesson I’ve learned from my adherence to vegetarian principle, from my practice of vegetarianism for reasons of principle—that it’s oddly powerful to adhere to principle, more powerful than one might think: a feeling of purity and of righteousness, of your specialness as a persecuted (sorta—that’s how you think of it) minority.
[From journal entry of Sat. 23 Feb. 2008, Journal 96, Page 255]