|Courtesy of Hiki via Flickr|
Ever since I have started shifting my values on objects and asking myself questions on my consumption habits, I have discovered and documented a lot about minimalism. This concept appeals a lot to me as it sets the idea, obvious yet alien to our modern society, that personal growth, relationships, knowledge, peace of mind are more important to life than material possessions.
When I started researching about it, I found out there is more to minimalism than Buddhist philosophies and personal growth books. There is a whole movement out there. From TED talks to various amateur or mentor/writers blogs, facebook groups, communities, challenges, more and more "first world" people bathed in consumerism seem to crave going back from the "have" to the "be".
The minimalist movement is here, it is growing, there is no doubt about it. The question I'm really asking myself is: is it a real wake up call from us consumers tired of being used and abused by companies, marketing and advertisements, or is it just another trend bound to be superficial, used by marketing and fading out in a few years?
A risk to become another trend?
Is minimalism heading toward the same direction? More and more books are published and expensive mentoring courses pop up on the subject - which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself - but where is the limit between spreading the knowledge and using the trend to make money?
We already start seeing "minimalist designs" and trends like that, using the minimalist argument to get people to buy an object (quite ironic isn't it?). Many "minimalist" fashion bloggers tend to use it as an excuse to buy more expensive stuff, and some luxury brands have indeed put minimalism in the DNA of their design - with the aforementioned minimalist fashion bloggers as a target, no doubt.
There will always be doubt about companies, out here to make money, and their intentions toward the minimalist trend. But what about us? All these people who write or read blogs about minimalism, read books about it, even start to get rid of some of their stuff? After all, this is the most important part of the movement: the people.
Are we going to lose interest as soon as we earn more money, or stir up more disturbing questions about our lifestyle, Chinese workers and consumerism, or get pulled back into the consumption cycle because we end up wanting new things anyway?
Or a real wake up call?
After all, this idea that material possessions matter, define ourselves and our position on the social ladder, is embedded deeply into all generations that haven't known World War II and the beginning of this consumerist society. This is how we were raised by our parents, and this is most likely how we will raise our children. Most of us just keep running into the threadmill of going to work, earning money, spending it, going into debt, etc. without a second thought.
|found on facebook|
But this minimalist movement shows that more and more people actually start having second thoughts. Minimalism isn't the only manifestation of it, but it can be viewed as one of the consequences of a wake up call among our generations.
Maybe consumerism is going too far, maybe our lifestyles are pushing us to the edge, and maybe the masses are really stirring. Maybe years from now, it won't be as easy as it is now to have us mindlessy spend our time earning money and spend that money buying useless stuff...