After watching Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things I realized that there are only a few things in life that are truly important and a very, very small number of those things are physical, material items. The majority of the important things in life are not actually tangible things, they’re relationships, places, experiences. As much as I hate to admit this about myself, I am quite the collector of stuff. When I say “stuff” I mean knick knacks, unnecessarily large amounts of clothing, and other random items that take up space simply because they hold a memory of some sort. I’ve known for a while that I have accumulated a huge amount of stuff during my 19.5 years on this earth, but I’ve never found a reason that I thought was good enough for me to actually declutter my life. I’ve finally found a reason that has encouraged me to change my ways, even if that simply means going through the items that I know I never use or to stop buying items that I know I do not need.
According to Josh and Ryan the minimalistic lifestyle gave them what every person wants out of life: happiness. Freeing their life of unnecessary stuff freed them from the overwhelming feeling of emptiness. You may be asking how getting rid of the unnecessary items in one’s life gives one a feeling of freedom, but after hearing their story it makes sense. Our lives revolve around making money in order to have items that are the best of the best, but it’s hard to enjoy these items when you are busy with work and other obligations. By letting go of the unnecessary stuff, nothing is holding you down or holding you back from seeing the world in a perspective you wish to see it in, not the perspective society forces on you.
Along with being freed from the weight (physical and mental) of stuff, it decreases the size of your ecological footprint. I recently learned that if everyone on Earth lived the same lifestyle as me it would take approximately 5 planet Earths to support everyone. That number alone was scary enough for me to have a wake up call and realize that I need to change something in my life to decrease that number. With that information already in the back of my mind, this documentary really pushed me to examine my life to see what is a true necessity and what is simply an item taking up space.
This documentary was eye opening to say the least. Before watching, I thought that minimalism was only about reducing the amount of stuff you have. After watching the documentary I now understand that minimalism is not just about reducing the material items in your life; it’s about decreasing stress, increasing happiness, and helping restore Earth back to it’s former glory of green plants, clean air, and the freeness it offers to be anything that you wish to be.