Should we tackle an issue today that never veers toward fights, misunderstandings, and especially haughtiness? ‘Who is more of a minimalist?’ or ‘who is the right kind of minimalist?’ We are all individuals who have fretted over at least one important examination within the framework of the national education system and therefore lived through the apprehension of surpassing others. Even though this pubescent conditioning doesn’t make us happy, we continue to internalize it, and when we realize that another kind of life is possible, we dream of being the most ideal representation of it. The diagnosis is thus quite simple. But how can we cure ourselves of this quagmire of idealism?
If we’ve taken a step towards minimalizing our lives, the first stop is usually our belongings. Our wild souls want to relax and purge the hundreds of useless things that we stuff into our homes, cupboards, drawers, and closets. In fact, these cleaning sessions aren’t completed the first time around. Once we get used to it, we often repeat the weeding out process of useless items. Because it feels good. Free space is not just opened up in our homes and rooms, but also within our souls. We begin to consume less and question why we buy certain things more often. We feel the litheness of living with fewer belongings. A person can stay at exactly this point and be minimalist for the rest of their lives.
The other level in minimizing (which is not lower or higher, but just ‘other’) is focusing on how we spend our lives. Are we content with our work, what we choose to do, and the people we spend time with? What do we need to get rid of, keep, and make space for in order to truly live our lives as we desire? A person can build a whole lifetime around this question, spending their lives finding the answer and making it a reality. They can choose to be fully independent of other’s choices and live a minimal life with their own truths.
Or let the manifestation of minimalism translate to leaving a smaller footprint, harming the earth as little as possible, and using our talents to help others. On this path our aim is not just to consume less, but to consume that which is natural and fairly produced. We see minimalism as a longer and wider path where single aims give birth to plural results. We prioritize natural materials, fibers, clothing, and food; instead of traveling often by plane, we travel to the destinations in our proximity with our tents; and even organize volunteer projects. Who can tell us we’re not minimalists?
Let’s say we associate minimalism with austerity and trust, then we think deeply about how we can use our money for smarter and more long-term fulfillments, we focus on paying our debts as soon as possible, and comfortably postpone luxurious necessities so we can be more at ease tomorrow. It’s another name for the dream of retiring earlier than everyone else (even though we love our jobs) through saving enough money. When we’re unable to sleep, we draw the plans for our future calm and beautiful home. Because a person can be a perfect minimalist and still place their relationship with money in the center of their lives.
Minimalism can be some, all, or none of these things. As long as it makes us happy and makes us feel good, we don’t need to compare ourselves and our choices with anything or anyone else. There’s no winner, champion, or favorite upon this path. There’s definitely no medal at the end of this road!