Reading through this, 7 Concepts That Celebrate The Importance Of Simplicity, I started thinking we don’t have these words in English perhaps because we don’t value what they represent. But then I came across guyub. According to the piece:
The Indonesian idea of guyub (pronounced guy-oob) celebrates the importance of social connection. This concept entails bringing individuals together to share life’s ups and downs as a community, offering support and ultimately creating a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Now we do have words like that in English: family, community, home. They are simple words: so simple we don’t give them a lot of focus. So perhaps we don’t a Swedish word like döstädning but we do have our own words that represent a range of feelings for what we value. Words like Christmastime or Thanksgiving, which represent much more than a date on the calendar. Perhaps in other languages those are untranslatable too.
(Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash)
What is wrong with minimalism? If you were to read this piece by Mark Manson on the Disease of More, you would be right in thinking that less is what we need. The less you have, the better off you should be. In which case, approaching minimalism should be the idea.
Yet minimalism taken to an extreme is just another form of More is Better, which seems to be the point of this Guardian article, Minimalism: another boring product wealthy people can buy. (And the truth is, minimalism can be difficult to achieve, as this article shows.) So, is minimalism a good idea or not? Should you give up on minimalism?
What both minimalist and anti-minimalists miss in their arguments is what is required to have a good life. What should be pursued is not to have more because more is better, or having less because less is better, but to have just what is essential for you to have a good life.
Of course what is essential depends on who you are. For some, this is a perfect environment:
For others, it’s this:
There is nothing wrong with a minimal environment if that is essential for you to be happy and content. Likewise, having a room jam packed with stimulating items may be essential to you. You have to decide for yourself, rather than sticking with a simple formula of Less is More or More is More.
What you should have is what is essential for you to live a good life. The fix for minimalism is essentialism. Preferably a lean essentialism. But again, that is up to you.