good read

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I debated whether or not to post on this negative opinion article on minimalism that I read in the New York Times. I’m still digesting its content and reflecting on its ethos. While I take time to gather my thoughts, I felt that it was at least worth sharing so others in the community can react to it as well.  The author clearly resents the arrogant minimalist culture of Silicon Valley tech bro crowds… which I get.  I really get that. That being said, I didn’t feel like the article addressed the merits of minimalism as it relates to regular folks (like me) who simply care about the environment and want to live a fuller life.  He reminds me of why I try to stay clear of talking (preaching) about minimalism in my everyday life.  Minimalism should never be another social ladder to climb or used to feel better than anyone else.  In my mind, it is still very much an egalitarian community of people being supportive and sharing ideas.

4 Comments

  1. Good article, certainly thought provoking. I agree with some points and disagree with others. Aesthetic minimalism has such a high focus on luxury items and can be tied to class/status/privilege. As you said, being a “regular person”, I’m more focused on purchasing something that will last a long time, and then…actually using it for a long time. Owning little and garnering respect and appreciation for the crafting of a small thing is truly not a new concept! It was born out of necessity and a lack of industrial factories. Excess material seems to be the newer trend, because industrialization boosted the global economy, prompting new FORMS of consumption! I like to think of minimalism not as a search for perfection or owning this somehow all redeeming item as a source of conforming, but rather surveying what I own and coming to love even the tiniest aspects of the things I do buy. I find wonder and beauty in being selective. It’s sad that the writer has such a cynical view of a subset of people that end up sullying the image of an interesting movement, because the truth is that American culture has become synonymous with overconsumption on all fronts. Of course…as long as there are elite, there will always be “status symbols” that are sought. But that doesn’t mean everybody has to seek that one item to achieve validation. The author seems to have a large amount of disdain to release!

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  2. I really liked the article, it pointed out everything wrong with the current trend of minimalism – a battle for who can live with the least; that being said, as someone who is trying to live a more simple life, minimalism can be incorporated into our lives in a healthy way. It’s not a competition.

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