Affluence Without Abundance

I came across a provocative phrase this weekend while reading a sample chapter from tech titan Kevin Kelly’s new book, What Technology Wants: “affluence without abundance.” As I got to thinking about it, I realized that it describes what I want also. It is technology that enables me to enjoy “the good life,” including being able to live and work from anywhere with a laptop and cellphone. And I love the liberty it affords me.

Consequently, my wife and I have been radically rethinking what “the American dream” means for us and we have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t necessarily include the stereotypical “white picket fence” concept of home ownership anymore. While we built our dream home, a cozy cottage, here in a quaint community, lately we’ve grown less in love with “owning” than with “roaming.”

The last dozen years of home ownership have been rewarding for us but the call of adventure is beckoning us to live more lightly and capitalize on our ability to live the mobile lifestyle, personally and professionally. This month alone, we’ve parted with our lawnmower and yard equipment in anticipation of moving and traveling. And we are trying to sell our bicycles and some other stuff also.

It was none other than Jesus Christ who said, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And for my wife and I, liquidity has become the new luxury. So, we are in the process of getting out of debt by selling our home and most of our possessions, giving away much of what we don’t sell, and preparing to pack as little as we can live with in pursuit of our dream, wherever it leads.