Last week I attended a few radio and TV programs to promote Sade. Of course the programmer’s main worry was to present the subject in the most practical way possible that would appeal to the widest audience. Just like us, the authors, they were enthused in presenting minimalism in the most attractive light possible. At first glance, this is a great bit of news. However, upon closer inspection, expectations are once again the truth’s greatest obstacle.
“So what should we do? Give us a list. Show us the way. Say ‘do this first and then this, but definitely don’t do this!’ And this way we’ll instantly learn how to be minimalists.” Is the mediator’s expectation for a miracle an expression of consumer expectation or their own manner of orientation?
Whether you perceive minimalism as decreasing the number of your belongings, a comprehensive action plan that will thoroughly change your life, letting go of something, renouncing deep seated habits, or changing someone else, it’s definitely not an easy task that can be accomplished with a simple list or magic formula. Forget about easy, it’s not even necessary! If we don’t have the need or necessity to minimize—if we’re happy and content tumbling about with all our shopping, payment plans, love for social media, and everything we own—who cares about minimizing? If an insipid recommendation (which we adopt only because it’s trendy) is to become another point of stress and comparison to others, then it’s better not to follow it at all.
Minimalism tips, five step lists, and golden formulas are endless. But if the courage to continue is missing after we’ve taken an honest look at ourselves and didn’t like what we saw, then miracles are only the stuff of fairy tales.