MINIMALISM
- as a lifestyle  

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Minimalism as a lifestyle is so simple - and yet so complicated.
It is about cutting away all the belongings you can do without, but finding the line is the tricky part. For me, it is not about having as little as possible - that would be Diogenes of Sinope, one of the ancient philosophers, who liven in a barrel. Or a Digambara monk, who only have a bowl and a broom. For me, it is about having just the things I need to live the life I want, and nothing more.
 
A simple life is an easy life. Less to worry about, less to maintain and less to get lost in.
The things you buy does not only take money to obtain, in many cases they also take money to use, maintain and they take somewhere to be stored. Some causes worries due to theft, destruction, wear&tear and misuse.
The less you buy, the less you have to work and the more time you can enjoy life.
When I see something I "want", I ask my self; "Can I do without?". If you are honest to your self, the answer will most times be a big "YES".

The environment and recourses.
Another main incentive for me is the environment. It is hard to neglect the negative impact human materialism have on our planet. We are way too many humans on the planet, but the way we use the recourses are even worse.  Read more about this on another of my pages.

The happy people.
Many years ago, I visited some remote tribal communities in Southern Senegal. They lived in clay huts, one for the husband, one for each of his wives and her children. Within each hut, a bed was made from branches, twigs and an animal hide. They all had a neat spare dressing blanket, and the women had a short spade, a clay jar with water and one with grains. That was all the huts contained.
The husbands only task was to rebuild the huts after the rainy season. The women grow some vegetables and grains along the river, but only worked for a hour or two each day. The boys caught fish in the river, and the rest of the time, they all relaxed and had fun under the huge kapok trees.
When I looked into their faces and talked with them, I realised how much they were in balance with them self and the surrounding nature. They were bright and awake, always ready for a  joke and a laugh. I have only seen such a calmness and balance in the faces of monks in remote monasteries in Bhutan and Himalaya.
Their villages were made under groups of enormous kapok trees, and the wild nature continued in-between the huts. They might have lived here for 100.000 of years, and can continue this balanced lifestyle - if we let them.
It is my clear believe, humans were mend to live like this, in balance with the nature and them self, and it made me rethink my life.

My belongings.
I can clearly not live like these people due to climate and culture. However, I did learn a lot from them, which I have used to form my future life with. Cutting down in my belongings is the most obvious place to start. It have been an ongoing process, and the life I live is directly linked - both ways. I prefer the best quality I can find, making things last longer and giving a better feeling while using them.
At present, I live in a rented 20 square meter room, sharing the kitchen with a few others and the toilet with one. That gives me access to additional kitchen gear and shared washing machine, scales and alike, shorting my list with 19 objects.
All my music, papers and photos are digitised. My cloths do not include tuxedo and alike. Not even my room is actual made for big social events. And I do not have a/some wives and children, and that shortens the list considerable, I guess.
At present, I have 50 objects + the daily consumer goods. Some objects are, however, gathered in groups: The tool box, the souvenir collection and a small bag with travel gear, stored away.
 

Room: Kitchen: Toilet: Cloths: Other stuff:
Couch Plate Toothbrush 2 Trousers Credit card
Table Bowl Trimmer 4 T-shirts Key
Lamp Spoon 2 Towels 7 Pair of socks Toolbox (50)
Curtains Knife   7 Underpants Car
Madres Fork   Fleece jacket Travel bag (30)
Pillow Pot   Lambskin jacket Computer
Duvet Mug   Shoes Active speaker
Montre with souvenirs (106) +11 shared + 8 shared Thin skin jacket  



I'll have to admit; it does look a bit empty, but it is easy to clean.

A Chinese saying goes: "If you owe more than three objects, they owe you". If that is right, I am owed!