\”The Master has no possessions.
The more he does for others, the happier he is.
The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is.\” — Lao Tzu
Minimalism is a concept that has no boundaries, no rules, no definitions. As the literal meaning of the word suggests, it is all about being minimum. Now, exactly what is essential/ minimum will vary from person to person. It is about simplifying one’s life by cutting down unnecessary possessions and actions.
Minimalism propagates what is not existential, is unnecessary and thus wasteful. One may argue as to how to define the dividing line and how materialism may hinder happiness, but the truth is that minimalism is a state of mind that inculcates more breathing space, thus a cycle that leads to eventual bliss. It can too, if one may say, assist you in finding freedom. To the uninitiated, the concept may appear vague. But a conscious effort may lead one to achieve states of mind and exhilaration while experiencing freedom… from fear, from worry, from guilt, from depression. The real freedom is achieved when one is able to break the shackles of consumerism that has engulfed one and all.
So, get rid of those life’s excesses and focus on the important.
Minimalism and The Privileged
Rampant use of Fossil fuels, chemicals have largely contributed to climate change, things that need to be tackled urgently. However, overconsumption also has a major impact on the environment.
Cross border trade has led to the carbon footprint decreasing in the western world but compensated in countries like China. Their carbon emissions are helping support the Western world\’s consumption. Naturally, the load on the planet keeps increasing.
Though, this concept may have originated from the west,, many from the rest of the world have already ingrained it in their way of life. There may be an argument for economically weaker nations but the exception is a country like Japan that practices Minimalism.
Where to Start
Dispose of and remove clutter
Just organizing our possessions is only a temporary solution. It must be repeated over and over but more important, is to dispose of possessions that are not required. At the end, you will realize you are left only with those that give you the most joy.
Donate your clothes regularly. Besides giving you joy, the needy will be happy too. So, there is a social aspect that brings joy. You will be amazed at the number of items which are redundant in the wardrobe.
Cutting meat out of your diet will help the planet ecologically as animal-based products have greater emissions than plant-based products, per unit of weight. Consuming animal products is unfair as it deprives them, their right to life for somebody’s pleasure. Plus the “spark” that one gets from fresh fruits/ vegetables can hardly be derived from dead animal meat.
To conclude, Minimalism effects are more geared to the cycle of change in lifestyle influencing the marketplace and economic system, to something that is more sustainable and ecological. The challenge is to take it to transcend borders of the privileged to envelop the entire world.