A repost of a column I wrote in the Daily Financial Times in October 2011 is presented for your reflection ....
Just last week during a casual search on Google for some material, I stumbled on an interesting image. It was a photograph of a road signage, which read ‘
’. The first
thought that came to my mind was ‘Why only a village, why not the whole wide
world?’ I did casually post that on my Facebook page, and moved on to other
things. Several of my FB friends liked the thought and it seemed to have
touched accord with their thinking. I wondered if that was because we were a
likeminded flock or because the idea of being frugal was a basic human
Before we explore that thought any further, it would be good to understand what frugality truly means as a concept and a form of action. According to the Wikipedia “Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.
In behavioral science, frugality has been defined as the tendency to acquire goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourceful use of already owned economic goods and services, to achieve a longer term goal”.
My ‘discovery’ of a ‘Village of Frugality’ continued to haunt my mind and I returned to learn more about it and thought of sharing it with you in this column, for at a time when most of world is affected by crisis caused as a result of imprudent and selfish use of resources i.e. the poverty, climate and financial crisis, ‘frugality’ as a life-style mode assumes even greater meaning and relevance. I thought it was also important for
nation to think of what frugality in our ways would mean to us, as we approach
this new phase of our drive for development.
The sign I found was real and the little known ‘
’ exits within the Cambria
County, Pennsylvania in the Village of Frugality .
Even a web search on the village will not yield any evidence that the village
can now be cited as an example of frugal living for times have changed and frugal
living has been replaced as a culture, within the dominant Western cultural
milieu, within the USA with wasteful pursuits of over indulgence and luxurious
ways in their day to day living. Perhaps it is the early Dutch migrants to the USA and their roots
at the village that gave it its name. USA
Closer to home, ‘frugality’ was a value and a trait that was valued and admired within our own culture in the not too distant past. I remember as a kid the reference to the term ‘Boru Shoak’ (meaningless extravagance or show off) being attributed to individuals and situations where there was imprudent spending on things luxurious. Austere lifestyles were considered a virtue then and people who were less extravagant were considered wise.
There is however a very useful website and a blog called the
(www.frugalvillage.org) which I came
across and the search I made was well worth it for that discovery I made. Frugal