Friday, January 2, 2015

minimalism isn't new

joshua becker tweeted an article from, thelala this week, entitled 'why minimalism should be your 2015 resolution.'  the article gives a lot to chew on and had some good advice.

what was the most memorable about it was this snippet:

Simple living has been around for centuries, and it hasn't always been the Amish and the monks taking a Spartan lifestyle. The post-World War II economic boom brought with it a slew of consumerism and the “American Dream”: get a good job, have a big family, get a nice car, and settle into a white-picket fenced house. Along with this came the whole “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality that has stuck around to this day. In the 60s, hippies and communes sought to break this material living, but before them the Greek Epicureans and followers of Thoreau sought to break the cycle.

this reminded me of a conversation i had with my dad about minimalism.  he will be 88 years old this year.  he grew up on a farm which had no electricity for most of his years living at home.  while talking with him on the phone one day, he asked me about minimalism.  i explained its a counter thought to the consumerism that pervades today's society and that it focuses on what's most important in life as opposed to possessing things.  he kind of chuckled and said that is how he lived most of his life and that a person couldn't get much more minimalistic than living on a frontier farm.

the author of the aforementioned article lists many 'minimalists' from the history pages.  there is one more that is a little less-known but perhaps was the first 'minimalist' of the 20th century.  he wrote several books about finding true happiness.  his most popular book was "as a man thinketh"  all his works can be found for free on-line at The Free James Allen Library.

although a lot of new content about how to live minimalism can be found on the internet today, there are still other authors who have walked this path before, hundreds of years before we were born.  their advice and guidance are just as valuable today.

other links to consider:
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
The Amish Lifestyle

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