Only here in a “first world” country, the land of plenty, could minimalism be a “thing.” Only here where we are so overstuffed would we voluntarily decide to live with less.
My family sponsors some children through Compassion International. We sponsor them because they do not have. While I sit here stuffing my face with the duck I made tonight, my son in Christ is lucky if he ate more that one full meal today. While I go through my clothing trying to eliminate what isn’t so stylish, my daughter in Christ is happy to have clean clothing to wear to school. The SAME clothing she wears to school every day. While I complain that my bed isn’t comfortable, my children in Christ sleep on dirt floors in rooms shared by their entire families.
Sometimes only the harsh reality of what other people live with/without can shock us into thinking about what we are doing.
Have you ever REALLY thought about what you actually NEED to get by? And if you only had that and maintained it, what could you do with your surplus? Now imagine if we all did that. What could we accomplish to help other people?
I don’t believe we should be ascetics (I think I’ve said that before) and I am not a kill joy (as I write with a glass of wine in hand). I just want to always remind myself that the material things I think I “need” are really just a luxury in the greater scheme of things. And when I have to opportunity to enjoy them, I had better be grateful and really enjoy them. The caution is to avoid making pleasure and owning things your idol. Don’t make “living without” an idol either though. There is nothing “holier than thou” about living with less. It’s just a choice that allows us to make room for the big things. What is important. What makes life worth living. And if your answer to those questions is a Louis Vuitton bag, you better start doing some serious inner work.