I ponder on socio-economic issues quite often. Lately, I have been looking at the correlation between minimalism and poverty. What makes it so different? Is ‘less’ really more? Here’s why poverty and minimalism isn’t more or less the same.
Minimalists live with less
Minimalism is all about living with less out of choice. People in this movement say they are happier than most. They find contentment in having discarded unwanted baggage. This means they live a life based on experiences rather than material goods. In getting rid of excess in their lives, they have less financial burdens.
Nonessential items are deemed as trivial and have no value to them, they prefer to invest in relationships and enjoy the simple things in life. Not being attached to assets has its benefits. Image how easy it is to clean up after yourself when you have next to nothing in the house!
Poor people lack resources
Being poor is not always a choice. Sometimes life happens and people fall on hard times. And sometimes people are born into it. Either way, it is an unfortunate position to find yourself in. Poor people do not have the luxury of choice.
They did not wake up one day and decide, I will declutter and give away things I do not need. They lack the basics resources to provide the necessities to live a decent life. Unlike the minimalist, a pauper has to take on hard work and heavy loads to sustain themselves.
The minimalist is fortunate as they do not have to worry about anything. They do not have chaos in their lives as most of them are actively seeking spirituality and the meaning of life. The needy on the other hand tend to take on debt to live life the minimalist are so desperate to shed.
Surviving the times
We’re currently living in unprecedented financial times. Last year (a week ago), Stats SA confirmed that the unemployment rate is the highest it has been since 2008. The reality for many South Africans, is that they’re having to live, and make do, with less.
This new year will bring with it even more challenges – the increase in petrol prices may just foreshadow the economic times ahead. Cash-strapped South Africans may just have to take the minimalist approach to survive the coming times. It’s just that it wouldn’t be by choice.
*These are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vannie Kaap News.