Minimalism: Live MORE and BETTER with LESS

It looks like the theme of a philosophy test, a tricky issue for future students. In fact, it is a hot topic affecting us all. Let’s discuss it.

The idea of minimalism emerged within societies known for their economic wealth and primarily in the USA. The mix of a few keywords set fires: binge consumption, possession, shallowness and waste.

[ Minimalism vs subordination ]

The young people developing this concept looked like their compatriots. After brilliant studies, they fought to get desirable positions. They spent their time winning money, buying and piling up all kind of goods. A few years later, they realizes that possessing all they could desire was not the right way to happiness and serenity.

They were chasing after social standing, success and a feeling of physical security. All these cues that seem deeply rooted in brains by the consumerist society. A system enhanced by advertisement for decades. Food industry, fashion, design, toys, etc. No field eludes this process aimed at selling more and more by creating the illusion of a need.

The first minimalists decided to give up needless items, to streamline their way of life. Then, they began to share their thoughts with a wide audience, hoping to slow down this “always more” culture.

[ Junk culture vs quality-of-life ]

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This approach to life is not radical. It relies on the idea that each person, citizen and consumer can gain control of his life by refraining from temptations. That is your call between what is important or less. Many questions arrive: Do you really need a 120m2 flat to live as a couple? 15 pairs of shoes, 22 pullovers, 10 pants and 5 coats are they really useful to confront your daily routine? Do you really have to wait hours to get this brand new phone on its opening day? Is it appropriate to offer a cell phone or a touch pad to a 5 years kid? Does your interior design needs to be fully changed twice a year? This is not a comprehensive list, it’s up to you.

This subordination to the latest trends skillfully managed leads to shopping spree. Due to compulsive buying, social scientists note that today “We have larger quarters but never enough space”.

Obviously, it is not easy to choose the objects we could do without but such a process seems to sooth and clear the mind. Distancing from consumerism and being able to log off without updating your status every day on social media, it is also guard yourself against the stress of ongoing solicitations.

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Being a minimalist means preferring quality to quantity, no living on credit just to stay trendy, choose rent or loan instead of purchase when it is possible but, most of all, relearn to take the time, give preference to human wealth rather than material riches.

No question of going back to the Stone Age, just to live with a little less and enjoy simple pleasures (and less costly). Such a nice and seducing program, the movement is growing. We know that many of us are yet and unknowingly minimalists 

[ Minimalism and poverty ]

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Some of us think that such a movement can only concern “rich people”. This is both true and false. Anywhere over the world, the main goal of impoverished populations is sustaining survival needs. Awareness of this fact is also motivating the minimalists.

They consider it normal to wish a better situation, to seek comfort and prosperity when you have nearly nothing. But they find it improper to multiply futile goods just because you have the means to buy it. Reduce the gap between necessity and excess, turn the tide on a mass scale by consuming differently is one of their aim for the future. Are they utopists thinking that the attitude of prosperous consumers could help to change the living standards of poor workers?

[ Consumerism vs self-responsibility ]

Naturally, minimalism should play – mid-term – a key role for environment. As tiny houses are multiplying today, deciding to stop buying shoddy or trendy goods produced at low cost and coming from far will help the planet. Less long haul, less pollution, less resources use and exploitation of populations.

Today, human identity is not defined by what we do but by what we possess” told President and Nobel peace laureate Jimmy Carter, more than 30 years ago.

Being minimalist means rejecting a life based on envy and coveting, sharing sustainable values with our children. Reshape the concepts of achievement, money, human interaction.

At Roadsign, we feel in tune with this will to prefer sharing and passion to possession. The basic aim of minimalism is “Like the people and use the things, not the opposite!”

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