When people wonder why I’m so interested in voluntary simplicity and minimalism I can explain that the less stuff I have, the more deeply I can enter into my life. Or I can remind people of the smaller environmental impact of living with less. Of course there’s always the realization that wealth is not about having more but about needing less. Needing less brings great freedom.
But perhaps Miss Minimalist says it best:
“Over the past year, I’ve heard many a critique of minimalism – mainly by people who think it’s nothing more than counting items, decluttering closets, or living out of a backpack.
My answer: minimalism is so much more than that. Minimalism is determining when you have enough, so you can do something extraordinary with the excess.
That may mean working fewer hours so you can spend more time with your kids; buying less stuff to preserve more of the Earth’s resources; or, like Toby Ord, spending less money on material goods and donating more to those in need.
In short, living with less means you have more to give.
That’s the beauty of enough – and that’s how minimalism can change the world.”
To quote theologian Sallie McFague, “We all live more simply so that others can simply live.”
Philosopher Peter Singer wrote a very interesting and compelling book about the same idea: The Life You Can Save. He uses memorable stories to captivate the reader. I recommend it.
Meanwhile, my life’s about to become even more simplified. This year I am moving to another level of simplicity: reducing my wardrobe and not buying any new clothes. Reducing in order to keep just what I need and donate the rest. Not buying anything new in order to use what I have and allow that money to do something good in the world. I will donate it to Mary’s Pence, but it could be any worthwhile organization that helps create change for the good of all.