My brother currently lives in a closet in New York City. It’s a nice closet, with a window. The only thing it lacks in the way of amenities is air conditioning. This is actually significant because New York City in the summer gets very hot. But as far as I can tell, my brother’s overall happiness isn’t affected that much by his simple living arrangement.
I visited my brother and slept on the couch in the common room. My brother gave me his fan, which helped me make it through the hot night. My brother’s closet was significantly hotter than where I slept. But he was able to sleep without a fan.
It’s easy to get used to modern life. Sleeping outside or on the floor or in a super hot room seems impossible to me, since I’ve gotten used to my comfortable bed over the past few years. It’s scary to think about living without modern amenities. But it is possible. People are animals and people are adaptable. I think it’s healthy to shed the trappings of modern life from time to time and test the limits of what you need to live. It creates gratitude, and makes you realize what you need and what you don’t and what is nice to have. I haven’t gone camping in a while, but would like to soon.
“One of the misconceptions about life is that you’re supposed to be out of pain. And we can’t be out pain all the time…Meditation taught me that if I look at the pain and be still with it, the pain lessens…Pain that comes and goes is different from pain that indicates that you’re harming yourself.” – Susan O’Connell