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Downshifting is a slang term that denotes a certain philosophy of life. The adherents of this trend reject the promoted public values, like money, career.
Instead, there is a reorientation towards life for the sake of oneself or one's family. At one time, he left all his property, family and became a monk, devoting himself to the study of the human spirit.
Today, more and more materials on downshifting come across. However, like 4-5 years ago, when the concept just came into the Russian language, most people put their own meaning and phobias into it. There are constant disputes around the main provisions, often people do not even come close to the truth. That is why we will debunk the main myths about downshifting.
Downshifting is a purely western fashion trend that has appeared recently. During the entire existence of human civilization, there have always been those whose interests were at odds with ordinary philistines. The plane "power, money, status" was not of interest to everyone. And this is by no means only Buddha or Emperor Diocletian, who left to grow cabbage instead of ruling. One can mention Diogenes or the numerous hermits, monks, religious community members, as well as art and science workers who strive not for titles and prizes, but for discoveries and creativity. Even if there were few such people, they are the ones who own all the main steps in the history of civilization. Another thing is that the society of ordinary people has already become reaping the fruits of discoveries, making the result of achievements another commodity. It has always been so and, probably, it will be so in the future. So why was a new term needed at all. The fact is that with its help it became possible to designate a phenomenon that is new and unusual for a human consumer. Otherwise, who would have thought about the motives of Diocletian's act or about the motivation of an artist who refuses to paint portraits of oligarchs, while creating his own paintings. And it is no longer so important that they will not be appreciated. Indeed, in a consumer society, any new term or new phenomenon that sounds fashionable and unusual becomes themselves salable. So it is beneficial to come up with such terms both for journalists in a hurry to publish rating articles, and for businessmen who quickly organize seminars and lectures on fashion philosophy for beginners. Someone sells goods, organizes tours, makes money from trainings. In fact, the phenomenon of downshifting is quite ancient, accompanying the entire history of civilization. It was not the west that gave birth to it.
Downshifting doesn't make sense at all. The concept itself gave many questions about the meaning of philosophy. A non-sounding word is also indistinct. At first, journalists translated this English term literally - "shift down". But such a direct translation only added to the confusion, because the native speakers had something completely different in mind. It meant "dropping speed", "switching to a lower speed". These are not at all technical concepts related to the world race for material values. The original version of the translation led to the fact that those who moved down the career ladder began to be considered downshifters. For example, it could be a manager who agreed to become a regular clerk for a more flexible schedule. However, are there such crazy people who are ready to make fun of themselves among their career-oriented colleagues? The word "down", literally meaning "down," gave rise to thoughts about the downside, about what pleasure is for the rich and old. After all, in order to be able to calmly move down, you need to spend a lot of time to first get up and make money. In a young age, they say, this is simply impossible. Therefore, you need to endure and work in order to calmly "slide down" in old age. But such a judgment is absolute nonsense. What if a young person initially understands all the stupidity of material values and does not want to waste time on them? Money, of course, is not superfluous, but there are always options. The option of renting out your apartment and living on these funds is a method for a rentier. You can live like that, but is idleness for everyone the very dream of life? If there are no own goals instead of corporate ones, then this is not downshifting. Not to include the yuppies, the wealthy bums and the eternal tourists vacationing in glamorous clubs and trendy resorts. After all, they essentially do not care - to waste their lives at the expense of their parents or at the expense of a rented apartment, or maybe just get paid for sex. This approach has nothing to do with social choice and a conscious way of life. Indeed, in such a situation, a person does not create anything. And we are all creative creatures, created in the pattern and likeness of the Creator. In addition to generating a portion of waste and tobacco smoke, nature has laid in us the ability to create - thoughts, ideas, works, material things, to leave a legacy in the end. Many people even deliberately reject the word downshifting, replacing it with ours, which are closer in meaning - outliers. After all, then it becomes clear what people are leaving and where they are coming.
Downshifting is just a fashionable entertainment for the "golden" youth, who are simply mad about fat. If we talk about the downshifting, which is discussed in the media, then this statement is not devoid of meaning. Children of wealthy parents go to Ibiza and Goa, plunging themselves into alcoholic and drug intoxication. There is nothing to object to this - everyone is free to dispose of their fate as they please. However, drug tourism and downshifting should not be compared. First of all, because all these resorts and tourism are usually temporary, after which people still need a change of scenery. There are changes in life. But life priorities and values remain unchanged. Indeed, for most of those who participate in the race for material things in a consumer society, the opportunity to relax and not work in resorts is the very beacon for which everything is arranged. It's just that someone can afford to lead such an image right away, whether thanks to rich parents or a rented apartment. And the very word "fashionable" is part of the jargon of the consumer society. This is another bait that immature minds fall for. Twin words in this regard are glamor, success, prestige. Journalists, on the other hand, write about what exists in their own minds, focused precisely on such baits. People who are completely immersed in their illusions are unable to distinguish delusion from reality. Today, however, there is another tendency - the desire of people to leave for the countryside. Such a movement can no longer be explained by fashion, people voluntarily change comfortable shoes for galoshes, and the world of the Internet for the world of pets and manure. However, even here there are eccentrics who declare such trends fashionable. Only now the golden youth with their glamor does not fit in any way with the theme of village downshifting or retirement. As a result, if earlier dozens of people left for Goa, and today there are hundreds in villages, journalists have lost interest in such topics that are not interesting to most. Only occasionally are there talk shows where fashion hosts try to catch downshifting theorists off guard by ridiculing their ideas. Only such programs are not a place for serious conversation and exchange of thoughts and beliefs. Talk shows are designed to entertain and sensationalize, not force people to change their mindset. This is where the golden youth and the very place.
Downshifter changes city rules to country rules, in line with the local lifestyle. Such rules are called indispensable going to the toilet in nature, and not at home, using the stove instead of a microwave, and water must certainly be from a well. It seems that downshifters should run an exclusively subsistence economy, in which everything should be done independently. The same adept who will give a hint about the desire to engage in some one occupation, and not necessarily rural, professional "experts" in downshifting will try to accuse of deviating from dogmas. Today, there are many specialists who demonstrate their knowledge exclusively on Internet forums. In fact, if a person has decided that he does not owe anything to anyone and is not obliged to follow the rules, then this applies to both the city and the village. If a person deliberately left the city rules, why should he suddenly begin to observe the village rules? If you want to go out into the yard out of necessity - for God's sake, do not forget to just clean up after yourself. Someone loves to work on a computer - this is his right. Imposing rules on another, think, maybe they are exclusively yours? Does someone else need them? People should be different, some people like the city, others - a village with dung smells. Someone gives birth to seven in order to better manage the household then, and someone considers children a burden. One sows grass in front of the house, and the other - good and eternal in his books.
German Sterligov is the most famous downshifter in Russia today. This myth is quite successfully replicated today by journalists. First of all, one must take into account that German Sterligov himself does not consider himself a downshifter. He never supported the idea of abandoning the rules of the consumer society, moreover, he runs his own business and creates financial structures. Sterligov, contrary to popular belief, did not leave Moscow for good, continuing to live there. And the fact that his family is in the village is explained by the sextant views of the businessman himself. After all, he was carried away by one of the Old Believer teachings. Herman hid his children away from the city in order to protect them from the pernicious influence of society. It is worth mentioning that Sterligov himself has an extremely negative attitude towards the church, encouraging murder, considers Tolstoy "an idiot and an atheist", and all classical literature - "crap, which brought society to decay." Sterligov believes that only a moron can send his child to school. At the end of 2010, a businessman, in an open letter to the President, offered to sell Russian lands east of the Urals to foreign states. This speaks not so much of Sterligov's worldview as of his mental health. You shouldn't be like journalists trying to tie his name to downshifters. Likewise, some of the Internet leaders of the direction proudly include the mentally ill in their lists of followers.
Downshifters are united in their own organizations, and they live in communities with a sextan structure. The first statement is an absolute myth. After all, everything that unites downshifters is several Internet forums. Moreover, most of the participants there are curious and dreamers. Rare escapes usually prefer to lead a secluded lifestyle, not seeking to unite with like-minded people. They do not always come to a common opinion on the forums. The myth about the settlements was generated by the community of drug tourists and rentiers in Goa, which, as mentioned above, have nothing to do with downshifters. The semi-sectarian eco-communities of vegetarians or Krishna communities should not be counted among them. The fact is that for those people who are looking for personal values in this world, it makes no sense to change one system (consumer society) to another (ecovillages or similar communities). After all, the new system will eventually try to subordinate a person to its own rules, again depriving him of freedom. Those who do not have enough strength to determine their lives independently and have a desire to get lost in a herd, joining some kind of community and a "strong" leader.
For large enterprises, it is necessary to identify downshifting tendencies among their employees at an early stage. The HR community is concerned about early detection of downshifters. They discuss ways to solve this problem both in thematic forums and on the pages of specialized publications. Some highly sophisticated office personnel have even developed their own unique techniques for identifying possible corporate traitors, renegades, and renegades. Seminars and trainings are organized, tests are carried out that try to identify unreliable employees. In fact, this is a delusion. After all, those people who were able to understand the insignificance of the values imposed on them and develop their own in return, it does not cost anything to understand what the Corporation wants to hear from them in the person of personnel employees and their tests. For HR personnel, downshifting is an outlandish disease that can be detected by some kind of mental disorder. Although in fact, such a worldview is quite typical for a normal person who suddenly woke up in the networks of the consumer's web.
Downshifters are hermit people, prone to religious fanaticism and with mental disabilities. Such a picture is drawn by our media, telling about downshifters as Hare Krishnas who settled in Siberia, representing them as Old or New Believers. However, journalism is characterized by unprofessionalism if the interests of the audience require it. Few people actually compare and verify the facts, thereby only confirming the general rule. In the case of downshifters, it seems as if the media are working out the order of the entire consumer society to discredit this trend. However, you should not look for a conspiracy, because everything is much easier explained by the stupidity of the hackers. We must clearly understand that religion has nothing to do with downshifting. Yes, people who have left the benefits of civilization can be believers, but their decision to change their own way of life is dictated not by religion, but by social views. If life is determined only by faith, then this is a completely different story. In it, monks go to monasteries, hermits settle in caves and hermitages, trying to avoid temptation and persecution. Such things have happened from time immemorial, these people with their own motives have occupied their social niche. Today many others have joined the ranks of traditional religion. Starting with sextans and Hare Krishnas, ending with esotericists and believers in the near end of the world. The latter were called "survivalists". They equip themselves with dugouts in the forest, prepare provisions and tools for survival in the future apocalypse. Speaking of downshifters, it is generally inappropriate to use the word hermit. After all, this is a person who breaks with society, its benefits, who prefers to live alone. True, modern hermits skillfully combine the ostentatious rejection of the benefits of civilization, shoes, school with the use of the Internet and television. The Lykov family can be considered real hermits. They lived in the Siberian taiga for decades, until geologists found them in the 70s. The Lykovs had never even heard of the war. This is what real Old Believers hermits mean. And no downshifting! Journalists are not interested in the real "out-of-town". An ordinary downshifter is an ordinary person with a healthy psyche who does not go to extremes and is not close to scandals. Just one day he decided to switch from a race for success to comfort and inner freedom. At the same time, the downshifter will not be intimidated by modern equipment and communications. There is nothing interesting here for journalists.The only curious thing is how and why these people one day give up money and success? I do not understand this, the press imprints exotic hermits and calls them downshifters. Here is a sensation, here is a success.
Downshifting is an age-related hobby inherent in the midlife crisis. This statement is very close to the truth. Indeed, it is in middle age that many people sum up the first intermediate results of their lives. Suddenly it turns out that personal goals have remained unattainable far away, and his whole life is devoted to the pursuit of money. But there are many young people who did not need twenty years of running in a squirrel wheel. To understand the whole structure of society. Old people are advised to gain experience, and then decide. But why? Although the issue of money is absolutely not the last, many young people find themselves in freelancing or buying inexpensive housing away from the ant cities.
A downshifter, like a traitor, is a person who must leave, run away, leave. On this basis, a newfangled variant appeared - "escapism" (from the English word "escape", "escape"). There is nothing to talk about escapism - this is another empty word in a series of dreams of office workers about warm lands and idleness. As for the need to leave, it should be noted that leaving has no geographic focus. This word does not mean withdrawal from society, but refusal to accept the rules of consumerism. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to leave the city, a simple change in lifestyle and priorities in it is enough. The West understands downshifting this way: "dumping speed", "lowering the level of consumption", "simplifying life". It's just that in real life there are very few examples of this. Living in a big city, travel, food requires a lot of money. A person willy-nilly joins the race and corporate conventions. Therefore, including due to economic communications, some are changing the city to the village. But there are also examples of changing life without changing your place of residence! There are actors who do not build their careers for years, devoting themselves to their favorite pastime, there are scientists who do not travel abroad, staying here with their developments. There are stories of graduates of prestigious universities who suddenly quit their jobs at a prestigious company and begin to engage in non-profitable creativity. Now I have time for my favorite pastime. So there are downshifters in the cities, they are essentially no different from their like-minded people who left.