We’re closing in on the end of the blog challenge. Today Natalie asks us about scaling down:
Could you live a minimalist lifestyle? Why or why not? OR What does minimalism mean to you in the context of your ideal lifestyle?
This is a great question that provided me some interesting insights as I pulled my response together. Let’s start with answering the question: Could I? Yes. Would I? Not at this point in time. Two key things come to mind when I start to think out my answer to this question. The first is “need versus want” and the second is “situation or context”.
First, let’s take on the “need versus want” issue. Minimalism in my mind is about identifying what you really wand in life and recognizing that in all likelihood you don’t need very many things to get there. Over the years I’ve gotten — thanks to my wife’s help — very good at identifying my needs versus my wants. Fortunately — or unfortunately some might say! — I still indulge myself with many of my wants as I can. The real question that I grapple more and more with is “do I really want this?” or “why do I want this?”. As time moves forward I certainly see more of a trend towards minimalism. However, at this point in time, I’m not willing to put aside many of my possessions. Does that make me shallow? Maybe.
Next, let’s turn to “situation or context”. While I’m not a big Bible thumper, the old verse (Matthew 19:24) about “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”. At this point in time, I’m still too seduced by all my possessions to set them aside. In fact, if you were to create a graph with time on the x-axis and “level of seduction with things” on the y-axis, I think you would see a nice bell shaped curve for most of us:
- When we are young, we are idealistic and not so interested in all of the things; and, instead focused more on ideals.
- As we age, we climb up the curve and become more seduced by the material things in life. We need to keep up with the Joneses.
- At some point in time we have the revelation that our time here is fleeting. Suddenly our infatuation with things starts to diminish.
For me, I crossed the peak of the curve a while back and am quickly heading down the right side of the curve. However, I’m not quite there yet.
If you want some more information on the challenge, check out the post on day twenty-six at: