Wanting makes us Vulnerable
Covetousness is a sin in many religions for a reason, yet governments have made envy and consumerism the basis of economies around the globe. Greedily fighting over baubles enslaves us.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone – Walden by H.D. Thoreau
Neediness & envy make us weak & susceptible to coercion
Every day, all around us, people are doing things they would very much rather not do, or even completely despise themselves for doing, because of a desire to attain material things.
If we feel must do work we loathe to house, clothe and feed ourselves and our families, then perhaps we must. On the other hand, there are desires for things which are completely unnecessary… things that we think will bring us status, or power; things that we are told will make us look better or feel better about ourselves.
Release, Let go, Set Free
When we strip away the ornaments of vanity, what remains is simple, solid, and true. Strip away the things that are weighing you down. Unburden yourself piece by piece. You may feel so light you could float through the air like a bird.
Denying envy doesn’t mean we’re giving up our aspirations
We can aspire to higher aims. True wealth is not material. True wealth is vigorous health, self-knowledge, confidence that comes from living up to our word, integrity, honesty, family and friendship. These things make us truly wealthy. The rest is surface fluff that may fool others, but not ourselves.
Instead of living lives that are seemingly wealthy but are actually terribly impoverished, minimalists choose lives of honest simplicity. This choice allows us to do meaningful work that we enjoy and to deny those who would enslave us.
Rather than an abundance of stuff, we have an abundance of leisure
Minimalists have the most precious thing of all… time. Time to discover the world, to better understand ourselves and others. Time to do what is meaningful to us. Time to do things that we love. In a world filled with frantic hurrying, we have the opportunity to feel peace. What is that worth? It’s absolutely priceless.
When we are grateful for what we already have and feel deeply satisfied with our lives (rather than in a state of constant neediness) we are impervious to ludicrous demands and are truly free.
Let everyone mind his own business and endeavour to be what he was made. Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. – Walden by H.D. Thoreau