Last week I opened an article written by a fellow minimalist and something drove me to read the comments left by some readers. There was one comment from a public speaker that pretty much said the writer is promoting poor people’s mindset. That stuck with me and then I remembered how in one of my social studies courses the different classes were separated and the mindsets associated with them. That is where it all gets tangled up and of course, the person I am I felt compelled to write this article because there is a huge difference between the two.
Minimalism is a lifestyle often driven by inadequate balance of wants and needs. One may want a huge house that is associated with large mortgage payments, time consuming upkeep, and maintenance but what they really need is a place of comfort and joy. Just because one is financially able to afford something doesn’t mean they should if it takes away from other things they may enjoy more. The time used to clean the house could have been spent sipping coffee or reading a book, or taking a hike ,or whatever else your soul desires. A person may have to sacrifice family or personal time to keep that unsatisfying and stressful job in order to make the monthly mortgage payments, or they may have to work long hours away from home while someone else is raising their children, or they may have to sacrifice the much needed vacation because the house payment is more important.
I have had clients of all different social backgrounds and trust me when I say that even the most wealthy find themselves missing something. They maybe surrounded by things they want and like but eventually those things take away from their personal joy. Living with less even when being able to afford more is not poor people’s mindset. It is a smarter and happier way to go through life. Those same resources can be used with a purpose rather than for self indulgence solely.
And if you are reading this, your bank account has more money you can count, you feel completely satisfied with your life, and are happy all the time, then more thumbs up to you… but if your bank account has more money than you can count and you still feel like there is a huge void then you should probably reevaluate. The truth is that the size of the bank account has nothing to do with how happy a person is and I will say this a million times if I have to: minimalism is a tool, a very helpful tool that assists in achieve that happiness. It doesn’t mean a person should go live off grid in a tent. It only means eliminating the things that don’t make us happy and don’t serve a purpose in our life.