A case for minimalism

by - August 18, 2016



I spend much of my time trying to reduce things in life. I had to. The room I stay in has a build up space of 120sq ft, which means not enough space for all the things a grown-up girl wants. 

This time, I let go a Scrabble game set. This box stays in the storeroom for two years - sealed and collecting dust. But something unthinkable happened - my mum cried! I see watery eyes when she saw me carrying the set out for postage! It was like I shattered her lifelong dream.

Honestly, she did not think of playing scrabble even once in the past two years. Yet, she has an emotional attachment towards the game set that was never part of our life. Why? From her words, I found out that she associates this game function with good learning and good vocabulary of her kids. An illusion of what owning a Scrabble means.

A lot of the things we buy are the illusion, promises that life could be better if we own it.  With manufacturing at the economics of scale, we can easily buy a new promise with a little disposable income. The violin that I never actually practice,  yet holding on to the fantasy of playing on stage someday. I bought and kept a promise that is illusional.  We forget that achieving dream takes work, perseverance and practice. 

I don't want to hold on to just-in-case things in my life.  I wish only to keep things that have real value. Clothes that I love to wear, shoes that I am comfortable walking, bags that I can carry all day. The rest are noises.

It is not just about recognising what is useful. We need the courage to let go the useless things that we bought. We need to say no to the buy-click solution.

And my mum? She doesn't remember the scrabble.

Minimalism is not about clearing clutter - it's unbecoming all the noises to be what we meant to be.

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