Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Minimalism Lifestyles

So lately I have been very intrigued and borderline interested in adopting a minimalist lifestyle.  Already a huge fan of survivor shows where the star(s) in question are dropped into a hostile environment and left to fend for themselves for a week...I've now stumbled onto a new and relatively more hospitable way to embrace self reliance.  But more on that in a bit.

As I have discovered this profound interest deep within my soul I must admit to being a bit surprised about it.  Most of the people that seem interested in these types of lifestyles tend to fall in the tree hugging, hippie camp.  Let's just say I wouldn't fit in very well.  So I've been asking myself what exactly is it about living so simply that attracts me?  The answers are still being figured out but I can say in part its due to being a man.

Men are simple creatures.  We are singularly focused and don't do well with complex issues.  Sure we have our favorite toys, clothing items, TV shows, and a hobby or two.  But most guys I know are just content with a place to lay their heads at night, putting food on the table for their family, and getting that random chance to go have fun now and again.

The only other answer I have thus far comes from my Christian faith.  Jesus lived a simple life.  He even encouraged us to part with the material, selling or giving our abundance to others, and using those resources to minister to the sick, the poor, and the spiritually lost.  How great would it be, for instance, if you owned your home outright, barely had any utility bills, and the majority of your income was just for you to utilize?  For you to bless another person or charity group with? Or imagine 100% of your check this week going to pay for that dream vacation?

I probably won't get to live quite like the persons in the videos below anytime soon.  These two people have joined the growing movement of purchasing or even constructing "tiny homes". Not many wives or families with three children would put up with it just so daddy can play out his fantasies.  But I will at least take this as a challenge to cut out extravagance where I can.  We are the wealthiest group of people on the planet and arguably some of the wealthiest, most blessed that have ever lived.  For me its not about reducing a carbon footprint, or hugging a tree, or joining a group of gypsies.

No...its just about the freedom that comes with keeping life simple.

Your thoughts?


Pony and Petey said...

It appeals to me too! Not sure I could pull it off but even just downsizing the amount of shirts, shorts, dishes, etc. feels nice.

I've also heard of the movement to only own 100 items... that includes silverware, clothes, books, kitchen items...everything.

We just hosted friends for a week...it would've been REALLY challenging to only have 4 spoons, 4 plates, 4 cups...the numbers add up in a hurry!

Thanks so much for the video clips...I like to keep this subject at the front of my mind so I can make wise decisions about acquiring things.

Shannon Wheeler said...

I'm so with you on wanting life to be simpler and also on seeing how the Lord Jesus lived and being really convicted of the extravagance and self-centeredness that is so easy to fall into in our very blessed nation. I am learning more and more profoundly that my abundance is often not measured by what I have in my possession as well as it is measured by how much I'm willing to let go of in exchange for that which is eternal. Thank you for your words and the challenge to examine this!

Melissa said...

I have been giving this a lot of thought lately and living minimally appeals to me very much! I'm not really in a position to move right now, but would love a smaller house and a smaller mortgage...just as long as my kitchen and living room stayed the same size. You couldn't fit all of our family standing in one of those houses!

I am grateful for what I have, not interested in having more and willing to lose it all. I am so blessed!