Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Simply Living the Mercy Values

“Live simply, so others can simply live,” is one of Mahatma Gandhi’s most famous quotes. The quote can be interpreted to mean many different things, but Mercy graduate, Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, lives out the quote verbatim, proving that living simply is truly a feat.

To live simply means that you are making choices that deepen your joy because they focus on the essentials of life, not on illusions of what brings happiness, according to the book Living Justice and Peace.

As a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Kellermann has been dedicated to establishing peace and community since she was young. Kellerman’s efforts were acknowledged when she was awarded the coveted Heart of Mercy award.  Kellerman even cites the values of Mercy as being the building blocks of her childhood because they have been instilled in her since she was a child.

“The values of Mercy feel intrinsically both the way I grew up and what I learned at Mercy through work and classes,” said Kellerman.

Kellermann grew up in southwest Detroit along with 15 other families as part of the Detroit Peace Community, a group of people dedicated to Detroit. One of the reasons why Kellermann wanted to return to Detroit after college was because she wanted to learn from what was happening in Detroit.

“Complicated, creative, and community are the three words I use to describe Detroit,” said Kellerman. “I think a lot of what I see in Detroit has to do with the grass root work that’s being done.  I think that even in the last five years so much has changed in Detroit”.

Since college, Kellerman has been living in the Jeanie Wylie Community, named after Kellermann’s late mother, and located on the same street in which she grew up on. There are currently seven members of the Jeanie Wylie Community, including Kellermann’s 1- year old son Issac, who all reside in the same home together. All members of the community follow the simple living philosophy, meaning that they dedicate themselves to building community and being aware of their resources.

Although everyone who lives in the community does not come from the same faith background, they have found that living simply is a great way of seeing God in all things, including gardening. By growing most of their food they not only save money, but become closer to God.

Sharing is another one of the main components in the Jeanie Wyllie Community, which they actively do in many creative ways.

“We think a lot about resources, especially the things that we can share,” said Kellermann. “We try not to have TV or technology but our neighbor has a giant TV, so she hosts all of us over to watch Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday nights”.

Senior Audi Jeter had the opportunity to hear Kellerman speak about living simply when she came to talk to her Justice and Peace class back in March.

“Lydia was a great inspiration for us to be more involved in our communities and do good things for the environment,” said Jeter.

Much like Mahatma Gandhi, Kellermann is a crusader for peace and community. Dedicating her life to not only bettering herself, but those around her, Kellermann will no doubt make a difference in the city of Detroit by just simply being herself.

Video Link: http://youtu.be/uUPwUUNZSYs