There is a fight going on inside of me.
On the one hand, I am a minimalist, and I revel in keeping things simple, at the bare minimum, clean and sparse. This brings me immense joy and copious amounts of satisfaction. It gives me peace.
On the other hand, there is the part of me that lives in the real world, the real American world, if you will. This is the part of me that is constantly being bombarded with ads and jingles and flyers and billboards and images and words that promise me that I will finally be happy and everything will be perfect if I just buy Product X or Product Y or drink this beer or wear this cologne or drive this (very expensive and very fast) car. It’s amazing how, when your eyes have been opened to how marketing campaigns really work, you actually notice the sheer level of gimmickry that you’re being bombarded with on a regular basis. It’s truly amazing that we have any money left to pay our bills at the end of the month! No wonder when the month is over we’re left wondering where all the money went. This is the monthly curse of too many people.
Minimalism has tought me that I am not the sum of what I own (or owe, as is more often the case), and that my net worth as a person, as a human, comes from what is in my heart and mind. This is easy to understand in principle but sometimes hard to practice on a daily basis. Unless we’re in full-on alert mode (also knonwn as being MINDFUL), it will be very easy for us to fall prey to marketing ploys acting all around us. I am constantly trying to remember that I’m being led to believe someone else’s vision of what my life should be like and I must resist that every day. If I actually NEED an item, I will purchase that item, and if I want quality, I may pay a high(er) price for that item (minimalism is NOT frugality; we’ll discuss that in a later post) but it will be MY decision, my choice.
I guess that as a minimalist, I’m constantly thinking of ways to do more with less, to live a better life with the minimum amount of contraptions, and usually as a result, with the least amount of debt or waste. You can’t “un-learn” something once you’ve learned it. Ignorance is no longer bliss. I am on to those who would try to deceive me into giving in to their vision of happiness, always in exchange for my hard-earned money, of course. Once you know, you know. And you’re all the better for it.
Don’t let others tell you what to do. We stand for personal freedom and democracy in this country but all too often we are being enslaved by giant corporate interests that only want to take our money (in exchange for cheap trinkets that we don’t need), and our time (countless hours wasted in front of the TV being bombarded by ads telling us to buy even MORE cheap trinkets we don’t need). Do you want to go through life that way? There’s a better path. Trust me, it’s much better and it’s waiting for you.
Very soon I will be incorporating links on this blog to other blogs that will show you and inspire you to live a life of mindful purpose. These are people whose blogs I read on a regular basis and they have helped me grow as a minimalist and a mindful human being. I’m still learning, and learning is something we never stop doing, nor should we. We are all finding our way, but if we band together, we can make it. Keep visiting this blog and soon this info will be available for you.
Let’s continue on this journey together. I always like to say that we are all “perfectly flawed”, and I truly believe that to be a wonderful thing. Let’s celebrate our uniqueness, our beautiful humanity.