Austerity!! I read in the papers is the most searched word on online dictionaries in 2010. This also shows that most folks until 2010 did not know what austerity means? It took the severe financial crisis of the last year to bring the word into prominence. In that sense, until recently, austerity was the most forgotten word in society. And I have more reasons than just online search statistics to believe that.
What does austerity mean? In today's financial mess, it means prudent fiscal discipline, be it countries or corporations. What does it mean to individuals like you and me? Again, in a financial sense, it is living within your means, not over leveraging and being prudent in your financial decisions. But, austerity is beyond financials. The dictionary explains austerity as plainness; freedom from adornment; severe simplicity. And that is all pervasive...it is about a way of life. You don't have to look far to see that way of life...remember the wonderful 70's? Remember the 70's when there was very little to go around .....when television was a luxury and the only way to get a decent perfume was from duty free shops. Remember the 70's when that same little was enough, when the same little resulted in lots of joy and happiness. Remember the 70's when you got all that you needed, not necessarily all that you wanted. Remember the 70's when your needs took precedence over your wants. Remember the 70's when desire was dangerous.
The world has now changed. Today, many more folks get what they want. The focus is so much more on the wants. Austerity is about changing that focus back to the needs. Every time you want something, it is about asking if you really need it. It is about travelling light through life. It is about shedding what we don't need rather than acquiring what we want. Don't take more than you need and there will be enough for everyone else. It is about a way of life not just for us, but to preserve for our future generations. It is about rediscovering joy through simplicity.....Austerity for Posterity!!!