Who Do You Think You Are?
Minimalists go around talking about how less is more, we encourage you to declutter your home, and to get rid of what doesn’t bring you joy. We talk about mindful consumerism and avoiding the impulse to buy that unnecessary pair of jeans or the new iPhone. Minimalists tell you to not dwell too much on the past and future, and instead, appreciate the present. We try to encourage you to simplify and organize your life, so you will have more time and be happier.
But what about those less fortunate than us? What about those people barely making it on minimum wage or those that are jobless or homeless? Is minimalism a slap in the face for those who can’t afford to live in abundance? Is the concept of minimalism only relevant because we have so much wealth and comfort? Are minimalists really just entitled, spoiled brats?
I will be the first to say that I have no idea what it’s like to suffer. I grew up in a middle to upper-middle class town and I never remember money being scarce. We weren’t swimming in it, but I don’t think my parents were ever overly worried about it. From what I understand, things were somewhat tight when I was very young, but there was never a point when we struggled. We always had everything we ever needed and a good amount of what we ever wanted. I couldn’t and would never try to put myself in the shoes of someone less fortunate. I can’t even imagine what worrying about food or paying next month’s bills must be like because I’ve never experienced anything like that. But I still think minimalism has something to offer everyone. And hopefully, you will agree that we aren’t just spoiled brats!
Misconceptions of Minimalism
Minimalism is often misinterpreted as a call to stop buying anything and get rid of all your possessions. While that may be some people’s ideal of minimalism, I think it is much more individual and personal than that. Minimalism can come in lots of shapes and sizes and really boils down to this:
What can you take out of your life to make more room for what is important?
Maybe there are no extra clothes or furniture or other clutter in your house or apartment. Maybe you don’t have a house or an apartment. Perhaps there’s no iPhone or fancy Macbook. Perhaps there is no cell phone or computer at all.
But even when this is the case, I still think that minimalism can have its place in people’s lives. Minimalism isn’t only about stuff. It’s not simply about what you purchase and what you don’t. It might not be about a fancy pair of shoes or a designer handbag.
Minimalism is About Less
Even while living in poverty, there can be things cluttering up one’s life. In my opinion, minimalism is all about less. There are so many aspects of our lives where we would benefit from less.
Anyone can benefit from less negativity or fewer commitments. Perhaps it’s less of a toxic relationship, or it’s less unhealthy food. Maybe it’s less time spent worrying about the future or less focus on regrets of the past. Or even less fear of failure or less complaining.
Minimalism Alone Won’t Make You Happy
Become a minimalist and live happily ever after, right?
Of course not. Minimalism by itself will not make you happy. But, I would argue that moving toward a more simple, minimal life can lead you on the path toward being happier.
The Universal Draw of Minimalism
The point is, minimalism can help anyone. Taking away the negative aspects of your life, whatever they may be, can open up space for more positive ones. Minimalism is not just about material goods, it’s about a change in one’s entire mindset. So, no, minimalists are not entitled, spoiled brats. Regardless of wealth, gender, age, location, or anything else, minimalism can work for you. Interested? Check out all of these great bloggers!
What about you? In what ways has minimalism impacted your life? Do you think that minimalists are spoiled brats?