Mindless consumption always turns into excessive consumption
This piece written by Joshua Becker comes from one of my favourite blogs, becomingminimalist.com. Point number 5, to ensure your purchases assist you to carry out your life’s mission to contribute to others, resonated with me a great deal. It reminded me of something that one of my spiritual teachers, Richard Rohr often shares, “Are the things you are saying ‘yes’ to saying ‘yes’ to the big ‘yes’?”
You can read Becker’s piece here.
When I was an intellectually promiscuous doctoral student my eyes happened to fall upon a copy of Henry Thoreau’s, Walden, a fiery “simple living” manifesto, first published in 1854. This book, like no other before or since, ignited in me a shift in consciousness that I can only describe as an earthquake of the soul.
It shook me awake from a deep slumber, opening my eyes to how consumerist cultures were foolishly celebrating a mistaken idea of freedom, leaving people materially rich but too often empty and twisted inside.
We have heard it before. ABS figures show that in 1984 the average wage in Adelaide was $25k with an average house price of $68k. in 2014 the average wage is $66k and the average house being $410k. In 1984 the average salary represented 36% of the average price of a house. In 2014 the average wage represented 16% of the average house price.
I will leave a commentary on the ridiculous current state of fiscal affairs facing younger Australians for later and focus on a reactionary movement that is gathering both momentum and my interest – the tiny house movement.
Samuel Alexander provides a summary of the movement in an article titled Sick to death of consumerism? Find freedom in a tiny house.
Now to figure out a way around the price of land to put one on.
We work and work and work to only buy and buy and buy–but is all that material wealth really contributing to our happiness? And are we stuck in a cycle where we don’t even have the time to enjoy what we purchase in our lives because we are so focused on working to accumulate more? Are we filling our time with Netflix binges, Facebook stalking, and countless latte runs, when we should be filling our time with friends, value and service?
In a piece entitled Why Minimalism should be your 2015 resolution, Paige Pope puts forward a succinct but values driven suggestion that Minmalism has much to offer a world caught up in consumerism.