Thursday, 23 May 2013

To liberal, soft and squishy, I can do what ever I WANT - Part 2

Explanation: A definition that is too liberal runs the risk of becoming both everything and nothing.

Yesterday I ended a brief post with the above statement, I would like to elaborate a little on this concept today.  As these posts continue you will begin to get a picture of what I am trying to define, by the time I have finished all my "introductory" posts you should clearly see how I view Minimalism and have a foundational understanding for what I call Family, Relationship and spirituality focused Minimalism (Essential Minimalism) - Please hang in there with me. When we are done we can move on to the "good stuff" and flesh out some of the techniques I use to simplify my life.  We will also look at topics on a multitude of subjects, all of which I feel are pertinent to a person trying to implement a lifestyle of Minimalism.

OK, back at it then.  While I was pondering what to write for this post I decided to Google the term "liberal", I found a few comical pictures defining the term and thought I would share them before we continue.

Hmmm, they made me think though.... Have you ever heard the saying that "many a true word is spoken in jest"?  While the reason for posting the pictures was to lighten the mood I am sure you can see the intended truth hidden behind the Pun.  See where I am going with this?  If your definition becomes too general essentially you don't actually have a workable definition anymore.  Specifics and a solid foundation are needed to provide both a start point and some initial direction.  It's a bit like the snow ball rolling down the hill, because its a hill it rolls and as it gets bigger it gains momentum.  A "very general" definition actually works in reverse, it's like trying to start that same small snowball at the bottom of the hill and push it to the top.  In Australia we have some interesting and colourful sayings that portray this colloquial truth.  One that comes to mind (pardon the language) is "up shit creek without a paddle", because basically that is where you are if your definition has no meat on its bones.  A definition that is too general can be bent, spindled or twisted to suit any situation or circumstance, for example minimising your Porsche FLEET so you can buy more Lamborghinis.  I call this soft core Minimalism and in my opinion it is more about people adopting a lifestyle they call minimalism for reasons that only benefit themselves and often damage the people they are closest to.  It's really just a definition of "convenience" because you can make it "everything or nothing" depending on how you decide to interpret it in any given situation.
I really like the second picture, obviously it is not a "real" definition but it still holds some indisputable truths.  If your definition is too liberal essentially it can allow you to do anything you want, even to the point of doing exactly the opposite to that which you are trying to achieve.  A definition that is too liberal can be its own antagonist. To conclude this post I hope that I have explained briefly the dangers of having a definition that is either too liberal or too rigid.  What we need is a definition that allows us room to change but not room enough to miss the point of minimalism all together, because that is NOT the essence of minimalistic living.  I have a friend that professes to be a "total minimalist" (perhaps by her definition) and maybe some of you will agree that she is.  Basically her slant on minimalism is "cutting out one thing so you can have more of something else".  While this kinda sorta fits the general definition of minimalism, but it is a million miles from what I believe to be a true minimalistic lifestyle.  In my eyes its soft core and caters to the masses not the "true minimalist".
I know that so far this blog seems like lecture notes, but never fear the fun stuff is coming.  Later today lets look at some winter money saving ideas (as promised yesterday), just to break change the excitement dynamic a little.  JM

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