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  • Renate Vermane

Thoughts on Minimalism




The other day, after I had an informative discussion with my parents about minimalism, I stumbled upon a realization about how their beliefs on ownership, lifestyle and attitude towards current generations growing interest in minimalism stem from a perspective that has experienced their belief in a concept "security" being taken away.


What it also meant to me, was that the current generations deepened interest in minimalism, essentialism and spirituality is a sign of wellness and signifies increasing belief in the way society functions, its security and stability in the future. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Not many people in my parents time (40-50 years ago) could choose to practice these lifestyles intentionally. Whatever was available was used and rest saved for later. People were very aware that resources are scarce and often ended up hoarding and making decisions based on a scarcity mindset. Although a mindset that is limiting, it was a very real threat, during the soviet times in Eastern Europe. Governments were not stable, and safety did not taste as juicy as it does now. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you practice minimalism, give a moment to think about what made you choose this lifestyle. For me, minimalism felt attractive, as I simply needed to breathe as I was smothered by the weight of fear ingrained in my raising from my parents, along with the emotional weight of the many material positions I grew inbetween of. Although, resentful at the time, understanding the environmental and societal circumstances my parents matured in now, offer me a perspective, I am very happy to understand. Give a thought on the circumstances that created your beliefs and remember that our current beliefs will form the future our civilization. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We are shaped and we shape the future ahead of us. I am looking forward to learn what type of generational beliefs my children are going to have, and how my lifestyle choices and preference in minimalism, essentialism and sustainability, will affect their relationships with their identity, material objects and society.


I also want to recognize, that in some ways minimalism can be dangerous, (e.g. if you follow essentialism blindly) if it erases the evidence of what has come before us. I speak from experience, as I was very close to free myself from the sentimental burden I got passed on in the form of books and old pictures. I am glad to have gained the insight of both perspectives, as I can now be respectful towards my heritage while practicing my own values.


Therefore, in my efforts to be minimalistic, I want to make sure to make space for keeping a reasonable amount of notes of my culture, knowledge and heritage. Through them comes some very cathartic self-revelations, as experience keeps showing it to me time and time again. The last I want to do is to be ignorant towards the generation that brought me into this world. My parents, like most parents, did what they thought was best, and through understanding why they thought it was best, I am brought closer to understanding them, myself and the society around me.

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