"Status is buying shit you don't need, with money you don't have, to impress people you don't like." Unknown
Over the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about the concept of minimalism. Which to me means owning just the things you need to have an enjoyable life.
For us Americans, this notion flies in the face of our consumer culture which has been a staple of American life since the 1950's. When the average worker began to get good paying jobs and could buy more and more affordable consumer products. After all the Great Depression was a motherfucker and I'm sure not having shit got old real quick!
I think I've always been a minimalist to a certain extent and not just because I grew up relatively poor. I know plenty of broke people with a ton of stuff. No, because I've always valued life experiences and doing things over buying things.
See I've been thinking about the concept of minimalism because I want less clutter, less pressures and less stress in my life. Selfish I know. I want to take that red pill and unplug from the matrix, to pull the scales from my eyes and see things for what they really are.
To me, the concept of minimalism isn't about NOT being able to afford something, its about deciding if this purchase is going to truly add value to my life or if I'm just swiping my credit card because that's what our evil overlords have programmed me to do.
To buy instead of think. To walk blindly into the trap, where I'm so completely possessed by my possessions that I'm chained to a desk for my entire life. Not being able to speak up or quit my job because I have a mortgage that could choke a horse. Because I "bought" a house with 25 rooms when I only actually use 4 of them.
See the one thing that scares the powers that be more than anything is someone who is financially free. Someone they can't threaten with a layoff. Someone who doesn't have to bankrupt their soul in order to not bankrupt their bank account. Someone who takes the time to think about how rigged the game everyone is playing actually is.
They would rather have me keeping up with the Jones or the Kardashians or whoever the fuck, instead of living within my means. So that whenever something I don't agree with comes up I have the personal freedom to say, "Fuck this, fuck that, and fuck you! Don't tread on me!" See so few people have that freedom.
We sell it for perceived security, which none of us really have. Even if you do pad your bank account with millions of dollars, and your house with cool toys, you could stroke out and drop dead at any moment. I've never seen a U-Haul following a hearse have you?
Hey I like cool shit as much as the next guy. I just don't think I should have to sell my soul to get it. I have stuff to go along with my hobbies and a few articles of clothing like everyone else but if having a few less cool toys means that I can travel at the drop of a hat and go have an awesome adventure that will stay with me for the rest of my life, all while keeping my integrity, then so be it. Sounds like a pretty good trade to me.
So am I a true minimalist? I don't know, I doubt it, but the idea is growing on me. Look I don't want everyone to stop buying things, I just want us to stop being suckered into consumerism that really only serves those wield the most power. So think before you swipe and you might just buy yourself a little bit more freedom.
Best of life, Kris