How one man changed his views about money.
Tired of spending more time than he wanted in pursuit of money, Hewitt (The Town that Food Saved, 2010, etc.) decided to investigate why so many hours are used on this seemingly endless cycle. That's when he discovered Erik Gillard, a man surviving, even thriving, below the poverty level, perfectly content living simply in a small town in Vermont. Sure, he had no cellphone, computer, iPod or iPad. He borrowed vehicles and lived in a less-than-100-square-foot house, with no electricity or running water. And yet, Hewitt was intrigued because Gillard was happy, had plenty of friends, a job, a girlfriend and strong ties within the community. He also had time to spend the day hunting for morels or skiing through the woods—time to just be. Blending pleasing prose about his natural surroundings with an in-depth and understandable analysis of the American monetary and economic systems, Hewitt provides readers much food for thought. The need for things has created environmental problems around the world, and society has become consumer-oriented with tangible objects—such as a house or car, purchased with paper and plastic—items that only hold value because of the faith placed in them. "I find myself working more to earn for no other reason than to accumulate,” he writes, “to strengthen my so-called safety net, even as doing so pulls me out of the flow of my life and into the choppy current of money." What does it really matter when all is said and done? "The manner in which you pass your time is the manner in which you pass your life,” he writes. "How, then, do you want to live?"
Thought-provoking new views on transforming our relationships with currency.