Easy Ed, Just John & Simply Someone ~ Life as a minimalist.
Originally Written 09/29/09
All 3 of the people listed in the title I've taken a lot from, they live lives of simplicity and avoid excess. As you may know from some of my previous writings I've reached a point in life where "less is more", I'm over "stuff" it's in the way, takes up space and requires either care, cleaning or maintainence and serves virtually no purpose. I'm not alone in this battle, many people I know are abounding in stuff and the abundance of thrift stores and yard sales show that many others are as well.
I'll start with easy Ed, Ed was (well is) my dad, he passed away in '06 but still lives within our hearts and memories. He was a very easy going person, when he passed it didn't take long to sort through his belongings - he didn't have much, no that he couldn't afford it - he just didn't need it so he didn't get it. If he needed something, he got it and if he didn't need it he passed on it. It might sound like a boring life, but yet he was very content, he gave of his time to a Veterans Organization (of which he was a member) and toiled with part time work until he retired about 10 or 11 months before he died.
Simple Someone, I've avoided the name for the sake of privacy. I've been to this persons home, and know from conversations that they are a minimalist, they forgo cable - not because they can't afford it, but because they see better things to do with their time. I know this individual has a set of golf clubs, and plays on occaision. As with Ed the furniture is older but in good condition, as if it's not broken, it's still working. I've also known Simple Someone to make extended use of whatever they can in keeping their business going, no need to throw things away when they are still good. This mind set is so lost today it's scary, we've become such a throw away society that it's almost sickening.
I saved Just John till last for a reason, John was always a man of modest & moderate means, for several years he didn't even have a car. He lived about a mile each way between the 2 jobs he worked and either walked or caught a ride with a neighbor or co-worker for quite some time. He had a modest apartment with little decorum as it wasn't needed. John was very laid back and easy going, never riled and would give ya the shirt off his back. Then John met a girl and things got different, she was from a higher standard of living and eventually they bought a house in a nice neighborhood and life was good. She cared for the inside meticulously but it fell on John (who still worked 2 jobs) to care for the lawn and exterior maintainence, this became a chore, although he took great pride in it. The financial pressures of this situation however were brutal, far more expense and cost to everything and a constant pressure for making ends meet. Keeping up a nice home isn't cheap, but appearance was everything. Then John and the girl broke up.
The girl got the house, which was fine and John walked away cost free, actually back to the apartment complex from before. Initially it was a blow to the ego, both the loss of the girl and the home. But in fairly short order John began to come back around to his old laid back self again - a minimalist at heart!
The point of this is, that all 3 of these people have one common thread, they were all pretty laid back, they weren't worried about a lot of stuff, they didn't have to care for or maintain a lot of stuff. I've had a desire for a more zen like approach to my life for awhile, and seeing these guys lives play out really inspires me. Minimalism certainly has it's advantages, I write this only because I've talked to several people lately that are starting to look at this aspect or avenue - their tired of all the stuff! The burden of it and the congestion it causes etc. When we look at true freedom, it's a freedom from things that hold us back. I've seen some people so worried about all their stuff that it cripples their life, they aren't living a life, at least not theirs, they are living the life of stuff and the management and maintainence of it. I've got to add that Biblically, we should all be minimalists in every aspect of our wordly lives, our "abundance" should be with God in Christ, that would seem like a given, but we often get sucked into the worlds trapings. God Bless