I was trying to figure out a way to fix up our broken woodwork without paying for someone to do it or burdening Kevin with the work. I didn't come to a solution but my train of thought led to thinking about voluntary simplicity. Part of this concept, I believe, is subsidiarity.... the idea that a bigger organization should not do for the smaller, more primary one what it is capable of doing for itself. The corollary I suppose is that the individual or family or more localized agency should not let its initiative and competence be pulled away from it even by well-meaning forces.
This gives me a new way to think about a lot of things. I never quite understood how "simplicity" could actually equate to "doing things the hard way" but that ties the two together. We ought to be willing to accept some inconveniences for the sake of our individual agency.