“Minimalism is about living maximally, making the most out of what we got. Minimalism is about de-cluttering and eliminating the things that don’t really add that much value to our lives and then focusing our attention and energy on what REALLY matters to us.
In a world where businesses are trying to sell you more and more stuff – where we are told that we can’t be happy unless we have this and that and that and that and also this – the vast majority of us attribute great meaning to inanimate objects.
We have more relationships with inanimate objects than with human beings!”
This statement from healthdemystified’s recent post (http://wp.me/p27ySS-gS) is today’s reality our face to face social time has been replaced with increasingly unreasonable corporate demands for our time focusing only on the company’s bottom line and not the health of the human asset itself. Corporations gain our off time as well, we as consumers are the driving force behind the infinite upgrades, apps and plug-ins of technology allowing the average individual with Internet access the ability to live globally without even leaving their home or office. What happened to the after work gathering of colleagues for a drink at the local watering hole to de-clutter the happenings of the day? Or meeting a friend over coffee at the local café, afternoon shopping, or a dinner date to truly socialize and get the scoop on what’s up? It’s been replaced over the last few decades with a plethora of Internet social “networking” sites like My Space, FaceBook and tons of others geared at creating on-line communities of like minded people from around the globe.
We are corrupting and disrupting our own well being, and we are diminishing our own local economy’s with global consumerism.
If you think about it we can probably attribute the high average unemployment rate as reflective of the rate of advancement in technology and social media. The population in general has lost sight of the importance of actual face to face human interaction; the important of visual gestures and physical touch to our physical and emotional well being. It’s really no wonder why the obesity rate and health care costs are sky high in America and why employers are opting to refrain from offering health care any longer. Employers are not willing to risk hiring older more qualified individuals in long term positions because their cost of care rises higher quicker over the term of their employment than does the cost of a younger persons. But that’s not the only reason older workers are being left out of the re-employment race, we are unfairly seen as no longer coach-able and therefore deemed less valuable without consideration of our experience and qualifications. The result is this we are actively participating in turning a vital corporate asset in human production into a liability ultimately viewing ourselves as expendable.
Our cultural beliefs have changed and as long as we look for ways to fulfill our lives I believe they’ll keep changing. Holding onto a mentality that says you have to have the newest or biggest this, this and that just because your friend or neighbor has one isn’t living your true life. Think of it this way you’re walking the midway of the local state fair being heckled from both sides by guys and gals (marketers) saying their game (company/brand) is the best, their prizes (products & services) are bigger and better and your odds of winning are higher with this game over that other game (yea right!). It all boils down to a simple human choice are you going to take the left fork which takes you down Jones’ road where you’re bombarded and influenced by others, or the right fork on which you live your own true life being happy with what and who you choose to have in your life.
Me, I’m not sure when I started to understand that having material possessions wasn’t ever going to be the most important goal in my life. And that the idea of climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t how I wanted to live my life. That being stuck in an office for 8 to 10 hours a day to earn a living answering to another human being just isn’t my cup of tea and besides who said “they” are more qualified, intelligent or important than I and my well being. I’ve tried to conform to the corporate lifestyle but the longer I tried the more I became increasingly stressed, unhappy and overwhelmed with the attitudes and demands. But as for consumerism I’ve never put myself in a position where I played into the whole game of pocketbook retail roulette. I never had to have the newest, biggest or best of anything, not that I don’t think I’m worth it but because all I truly need or desire is to have what fulfills my immediate need to survive. Anything above that is paying the cost of having the luxury of functions I don’t need and probably won’t use anyway and for padding the company bank account behind the brand name.
It is possible to simplify your life in the age of the ‘Jones’ mentality’, hurried advances in technology, social media and mobile commerce. The first step is the most important and takes the longest amount of time in the change process; it is to reassess your life evaluate what’s absolutely important to you then decide what you can and can’t live or survive without. It is as simple as making a choice then committing yourself to de-cluttering your mental, emotional and physical life of the things that weigh you down and zap your energy. You are the most important decision maker in your life and you are the only person who controls your thoughts actions and reactions to everything playing out and being thrown at you in life. It’s your life and it’s all up to you so live it the best way you know how.