The simple life has always been an ideal of the traditional religions of the world. A teaching of the sages of the past and a very important teaching of Christianity today. Attachment to the material and the promises of the comfortable life given to us by the popular media is just too strong to give time to the opposite possibilities and we continue with our cluttered and complicated lifestyles.
However, charismatic people find themselves on the world stage and people begin to take notice. Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman is one of these influential people who are leaders in the minimalist lifestyle. Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was a best seller and Time magazine named her one of the world's 100 most influential people.
The Kyeongyang magazine introduces us to the minimalist life and minimalism which have been aspects of art, architecture, and music for years in the search for what is essential. Recently we have minimalism applied to our manner of living.
Minimalism has become an interest in many parts of the world. Life is not synonymous with possessions, it's much more than what we own. In the back of the minds of many was that happiness was after all the amassing of luxuries. The work ethic that followed was compensated by the opportunity to consume. Results: the bank book had too little and the credit card was always in debt.
This movement has been alive and growing from the middle of the last century but it seems to be getting larger and the movement stronger with the understanding that the economy will not continue to grow as in the past. Income and expenditure are difficult to keep balanced. The economy is slowing down and the fear of financial crises is felt by the citizens. Stress and fear for the future are experienced and doubts appear in the lives of many.
Seeing what others possess, jealousy, envy and comparisons made life miserable for many and some became disillusioned. Competition was a big value in society, possessions a virtue, and the abuses began to eat away at their confidence, consequently 'opting for what was necessary.' Getting rid of the unnecessary (emptying) enabled them to consider what was important: relationships.
Instead of adding and filling up, the change is to emptying and belonging: a simple and frugal life style. In the process finding the reason for true happiness.
With emptying we think of the environment and sharing. We learn a great deal from experience and why relationships are important. When the numbers of those who are emptying and appreciate the value of emptying continue to increase, our society will be healthier. This is what minimalism is all about.