I think all of us in this community have noticed it; there is a hint of egotism that goes along with minimalism.
In a lot of the minimalist groups I’m in on Facebook when someone asks “How many ________ do I need?” the comments go something like this:
“You really only NEED like 10 pairs of underwear.”
“I only have 5, it’s more than enough for me.”
“Who needs 5 pairs of underwear? Omg I only have one, that’s all you need trust me.”
See the theme I’m referring to? Now don’t get me wrong, I love these groups. They’ve helped me come a long way in my journey and I’ve learned a lot from the other members! But I find it unfortunate that there’s so much smugness involved with becoming a minimalist. My opinion of minimalism is that it should make you a happier and more confident person all around.
I’ll admit that when I see someone’s child bring 12 toys to dinner with them, my mind is screaming “WHYYYYYYYY?!?!” And there was a time (when I first discovered this movement) that I would’ve even said “So..why does he need that many toys?” Halt. Stop right there Miss Sanctimonious. The point of minimalism is not to correct other people’s actions, it’s to make your life what YOU want it to be.
I can’t help but get frustrated when my friends who have a pile of clothes they haven’t worn in years complains to me about how difficult tidying up is. I want to tell them this amazing secret: You can toss out all of that shit you haven’t worn in years and probably won’t ever again. But, I don’t. And here’s why.
This lifestyle makes me happy. But I can understand why it wouldn’t make everyone happy. Living with less makes me feel more fulfilled but that isn’t the case for everyone. Some people may look at my life and think that I’d be happier if I lived in a bigger house, however I know for a fact that this isn’t true.
Personally, I think that minimalism could potentially help a lot of people out there overcome the rut that their in, but it’s not my job to tell them that. They have to figure that out on their own. Everyone is on a different journey. All you can really do is lead by example.