Are you a part of the problem or the solution?

Within my time, I have gone through both spectrums of minimalism.

This is what I have learnt.

I will start with a story. I went to college a few years after I graduated high school. Within the time before college, I was working and saving money. When you get a steady income with low expenses, it is easy to spend. And I did. I spent without budgeting, and I kept spending without planning for the future.

I decided I needed that pair of jeans or those glasses and I would, without thinking, buy. Of course, I treated myself well with only the best and only with what I truly felt I wanted / “needed”. Then, college hit and didn’t change my spending habits. Guess what happened? I ran out of money before my two years of college were over. I was dry!! And it was mostly because of buying things I thought would make me complete.

The lesson: 

I look back at times I went shopping just because I was bored. Today, do I remember those things I “needed” because they were cute? Absolutely not.

Back then I was a different person. I was one who thought I wasn’t enough. I feel bad looking back at who I was, but I am also so proud of who she has also become and is currently becoming every day.

So why does this story matter?

I fell for the marketing. Most marketing tells you that you need to look a certain way, you need to follow society fads in order to be relevant and be liked by your community. I fell hard and so did my bank account (rip). But, through the draining of my money in hopes to fill my soul and heart; I learnt why being a minimalist is something to aspire to become.

No, you don’t have to sell all your shit.. I mean belongings.

You don’t have to be broke to be a minimalist. You don’t have to suffer as a minimalist. A minimalist means you just aren’t controlled by the “needing of things” in your life in order to make you feel full and satisfied. The fulfillment you need comes from you! Solely from you and through your organic measures. Organic relationships, organic love, organic self, organic YOU!

What does this mean for you and how can we develop a more minimalist approach to life?

In this day and age of climate issues throughout our planet, we need to take accountability and responsibility for our consumerism. When we buy into the beliefs “big” companies are selling us hundreds of times a day, our planet is losing.

It’s an unnecessary loss created by us feeling we “need” something to become full, to become happy. They will tell you, your body isn’t quite right and you need to buy products to suit the social norms of physical appearances. They will tell you, in order to feel fulfilled you need to work your life away to buy the things you’re supposed to buy that will make you fulfilled. It simply isn’t true… but that’s not what they will tell you.

What happens when you finally realize contentment never comes from the outside?

Once you develop awareness of the marketing tactics that get you to buy all their things. You see the back end process that’s affecting our world. You buy products from the manufacturer who supplies the goods and where do those goods come from? How are they produced? At what global expense? At what human expense?

You do not need to buy it all.

That bag you had to have, will inevitably get old and tattered. That new car will become just like the old one you prematurely decided to trade in. Why do we have to cycle so quickly? New turns old, turns new, turns old; it happens within a blink of an eye.

A thought prompt— when was the last time you let your phone naturally get old and broken until you upgraded to a new one?

I’m not trying to point fingers and blame anyone. So please don’t get defensive and start making excuses for your actions and reasonings behind it all. I am simply stating, I have gotten by very well and in a pure and honest way by becoming a low key minimalist.. maybe you could too.

Maybe if we all decided to do our part in realizing there is much more to our world then consuming. If we became more aware of what we control and how we control it, we would become more stable within ourselves. We wouldn’t need these things to feel good, to feel satisfied. We also wouldn’t be throwing all the things we thought we “needed” into the trash just as quickly as we bought it.

Things might begin to have longevity.

Your happiness might last longer than the hype of a new piece of technology or new boots you didn’t need. Your contentment starts to feel more solid and durable. Your love for yourself is deeper than the things you possess. The overall need to be “cool” lowers, and with that, so will our planet’s temperature.

The last final question I’ll leave you with is:

Are you a part of the problem or a part of the solution?