It’s becoming a new trend, this minimalism stuff
It’s like people have been waking up one day and suddenly – magically – feel disgusted by the state of their room or house. And then perhaps they feel their skin crawl from the inside out. Perhaps they can also feel the chaos in their mind that perfectly matches the mess in their room or house. Naturally, this insightful awareness would make anyone want to transform their lifestyle.
A person’s room is their personal sanctuary, really. It is their their main dwelling, their haven, and their personal happy place. In order to dive into minimalism and what it really means, we have to commit changes.
Making a decision
So when a person wakes up in their room one day and cringes in dismay, I bet you every part of them is screaming that it’s not just time for a mad dash clean-up, but a serious reduction. Willingly, they make the decision to discard numerous items that are considered trivial and useless to them now. Unknowingly, they’re also practicing the early stages of the art of minimalism.
It sounds like some kind of meditation ritual exercise, to be honest. Or it could also be associated with a Buddhist tradition – maybe Japanese. It could come off as a lot of things to a person who is, most especially, doused in all their material goods and possessions. It’s true though, how certain religions tend to go a step too far and actually shame people for wanting things. Some view materialistic people as immoral, corrupt, greedy. I mean, that’s sort of unfair. Especially in today’s age, when everywhere you look there are banners and brands advertising their latest products with an image of some covetous place, person or thing pasted on. Always works – the art of advertising. It could almost be considered minimalism’s greatest enemy.
Culture of greed
So by saying this, I have to admit that I am a greedy person then. There was a time, earlier during my younger years when what I wanted was the same stuff everybody else wanted. I loved having things, just like the next person, it feels good. Yes, it’s pleasurable, just like sex, just like eating warm, smooth chocolate that melts down your throat. But then, this could again be considered gluttonous because these are short-lasting pleasures that really don’t fill the long-lasting desire in the heart. Over time, I realized that I really didn’t need most of the things that stood out to me. And then I realized, that having things is not all bad.
The problem with the concept of being minimalistic is that it instills the wrong idea in people’s heads. It’s not that not wanting things is better than wanting things, or that buying material possessions is wrong. It’s not – we should absolutely have whatever feels valuable to us. The concept of minimalism is about finding more satisfaction in the de-cluttered atmosphere of your own sanctuary. What you exhibit externally reflects your internal world. By living more simply, with fewer things and more quality of life, you make space for your thoughts, your mind – your overall mood.
Simplicity is a strength
Japanese culture has the right idea. Based on their Buddhist teachings, simplicity is their strength. They are able to satisfy their needs without the incessant stream of overindulgence. To them, a good life comes from space to breathe and think. Personal connection with friends, family, and even strangers are more satisfying than material wealth. Eating foods that nourish the mind and soul is more valuable than eating excessive amounts that only stuff you like a turkey. This was, at least, once the case in Japan.
What about modern culture?
Modern culture is seizing hold of old traditions. These old traditions once highly valued and respected the few items that they had and felt no need for superfluous amounts. But as you can see, this is not the case anymore. It’s a known fact that the modern world embraces greed and debauchery – we have this reputation that we’re spoiled, heartless creatures that only grab for more things, things, things! We’ve forgotten the taste of nonmaterialistic aspects that imprint a longer-lasting feeling and more valuable pleasures. This is actually a valid reputation, unfortunately. We are a greedy culture that just can’t have enough.
Technological advancement – reason for disconnection
Which is why it paints a more depressing shade on modern culture. We know that we’ve lost connection with each other as a result of technological devices serving as a replacement. We know this. Many people are trying to combat this issue, meanwhile, by establishing more personal interaction through communities and group events. It’s a great start to remedying this global issue. By losing personal contact with each other, we lose our vital need for interpersonal connection – a basis for our human existence. I’m constantly thinking to myself: of course, depression continues to skyrocket in today’s world! By relying on things to satisfy us we lose touch with the real need that we possess. We need each other. We need other humans to be with us and see us for what we are.
Thoughts on materialism
My belief is that materialism is not bad, but it perfectly reflects the emptiness that we feel. The more we need things, the more it shows what kind of void we’re needing to fill, because we can’t get those needs met through other people. We’re too afraid of them, or too hateful of them. I know this from experience. Whenever I begin to feel the excruciating sensation of emptiness (through loneliness or not feeling understood) I feel the urge to shop. Eat. Sleep. The three pinnacles of what makes my life worth something during those states of depression.
Let’s be honest
I have been a victim of this handicap and I know what the void feels like. It feels good to continue living for something and, at times, anything that takes the focus off me feels best. Binging on a favorite TV show, for example. Binging on some junk food. So in the end, it’s not even materialism that’s a great illness in our society. It’s just the void that drives us to want more things.
In all honesty, minimalism should be taken seriously, mainly to understand what it is that we’re craving for to soothe our internal chasms. The pain, the isolation, the fear, the anxieties. In short, I believe materialism all comes down to the human psyche. It’s a psychology thing and one that can be solved by solving those vociferous needs.
Consumerism is a plague
Minimalism is nothing more than finding fulfillment in the things we really need as humans. And naturally, that veers away from objects and more towards finding companionship through other people, being understood, being nurtured and tended to when you need it most, laughing with others, sharing emotions with others, following the calling that you feel, experiencing the freedom to do what feels right.
In the end, there’s nothing wrong with wanting things. It just depends on why you want them. You make your call on what feels best. I’d just love to see consumerism lose it’s power over the world because in the end, it’s nothing more than a monster presence leeching off our personal struggles and our perpetual longing for something more fulfilling than what we have now.