In Part Two of his Simple Truths series, RD&T’s contributing writer, Kris Verle, shares how minimalism can spark joy.
Remember Diogenes, the attention-seeking ancient Greek philosopher I wrote about in Part One of my Simple Truths series?
When he wasn’t counting roaches in his barrel or playing with himself in public, Diogenes spent his time being a pain in the backside of the corrupt Athenian society he was a part of. His answer to the age-old question of how to live a happy and moral life was to live in anarchy and detached from all worldly goods.
A more recent version of this type of extreme minimalism can be found in those YouTubers who’ve reduced their (mostly colour-coded and always impossibly stylish possessions) to a crazy low number. They’ll then vlog about how to wear the same pair of underpants for more than three days while offering tips on where to buy a bamboo toothbrush that doubles up as a menstrual cup.
Becoming Minimalist: The More of Less
Most of us minimalists don’t buy into that – pardon the pun. Indeed, the branch of minimalism I subscribe to doesn’t set a maximum number on how many items you’re allowed.
I get a bit annoyed by the common misconception that the more of less approach which comes with a minimalist lifestyle, means surrounding yourself with the bare minimum. But regardless of what those YouTubers will have you believe, minimalistic living isn’t a competition about who can survive with the fewest possessions. Instead, it encourages you to focus on the quality over quantity.
Joshua Becker, the blogger behind Becoming Minimalist, describes minimalism as:
The intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.