There are two reasons why we do things in life: either for love or because we have to.
The ideal that everyone has of leaving the country and industry and living in the city where
everyone wears a tie, has a desk, a car, a house, and leads a typical city existence – this ideal will
never come to fruition, it’s impossible.
The current system is insufficient – it can not ensure a state of well-being as promised and
therefore a serious error of judgement has occurred.
The time has arrived to take a new direction. Things made out of love exist due to strong
motivation, conviction. Instead, things done by force are different. They are done without
hesitation, now, and these “backward steps” are hard for those who had not anticipated them.
There are those who have been living a more sober existence for some time, trying to consume
less, dedicating less time to work because income earned is not as essential for those wishing to
lead the simplest of lives possible. And then there are those who have already taken on board the
problem of consumerism, wanting increased freedom, not feeling compelled to working as much
but doing the necessary for as long as is required – these people will have the edge.
New builds are no longer allowed. There is insufficient space. Therefore old, ancient properties in
need of renovation, should be renovated, amongst other reasons, in order to save the territory from
landslides and collapse, as witnessed more and more often recently. Energy needs to be
produced in different ways because houses should not depend upon energy derived from the
combustion of hydrocarbons, water should be recycled, land should be farmed in a sustainable
way, etc. There are many things yet to be done.
This matter has not been simple for me. I have worked for 20 years, working my way up from
humble beginnings as the son of emigrant farmers, to a management position in industry. I have
been lucky. I’ve worked very hard in the belief that it was my calling to work hard and grow. At a
certain point I realised that things were not like that. I worked hard, in fact I did nothing but work. I
had no time left for myself. The money I earned was useless as all I did was buy useless objects
and finance an avaricious lifestyle, which the system imposed upon me, or medical treatments to
cure the harmful effects that the surrounding territory had on my family and myself. This way of life
did not encourage well-being – you only need to do the sums: “Is what I’m doing good for me? Am
I happy?” I think life is a recipe and good recipes never consist of just one ingredient. I think you
need many well mixed and balanced ingredients. In short, for me the situation was no longer like
I associate having to buy things with slavery and given that the things that make me happy are
different, I face the problem of having to exert myself either by chopping wood or by producing and
preserving the food we eat. I’ve realised that this exertion is inevitable – in fact, it’s to be
embraced because the lack of exertion, unnecessary in a cushy office in Milan or in a super hot
house which gets through tons of fuel each year – that life, that absence of exertion was a
resource difficult to put aside. Maybe we need a bit of physical exertion in our lives in order not to
lose our grip on reality.
It was possible to change my life. I had to spend little, consume less, live in a place where housing
is cheap and be at ease with my own effort and ingenuity.
By working less and having more time to myself, buying fewer things (a natural consequence), it’s
relatively easy to maintain a good living even with reduced income. With more free time, you learn
how to be more productive through your own initiative. I produce the majority of my own food, and I can produce much more because I am just at the beginning. All of this is the beginning of a new life. I have to push myself but then in time, I will learn how to improve on doing other things – it’s not impossible.
Home grown produce can be exchanged and at times this form of modern bartering becomes a
way of reinforcing neighbourly relations and seeing everyday objects or consumer goods in a less
The accepted concept of life, as dictated to us, is not the only one. Neither is it big city life and
doing jobs we often would not have willingly chosen to do, earning money and seeking security.
How can there be security in this life if the only certainty is death in old age? If I change job, will I
die sooner? I too will die of old age, and in the meantime I will have tried to do my best to live.
These are our fears, fuelled by the System’s propaganda and misinformation telling us that if we
give up working we are done and that if we leave the System we will never get back into it.
Time is the rarest commodity around. They say that even money comes and goes, but time has a
special characteristic – it goes and that’s that, it doesn’t come.
We waste time from morning to night and during our lives on non essential things in order to live it
in the most original and authentic way possible. We move and live in boxes, from home to the car
to the office to the car and then home, as if that time were so endless that the right moment for
doing the things that count is yet to come, but that moment never comes because that moment is
Since the day I stopped going into the office every day, living on little, I have tried to make the best
use of time. I live in a very different way and I feel much better because I have many plans, many
dreams I would like to try and fulfil. The time I have left is for these dreams and for myself, for the
people I hold dear and for the people I love.
“Casale il Baronetto”