It’s a general tendency in almost every households nowadays to go on a shopping spree, buying food, presents etc, either online or in a mall. We see the items on display, and if it’s slightly unique, we’ll pick up, whether we need it or not.
The marketing guys are doing their best to lure the people by free gifts, discounts and other innovative gimmicks. But why are we not doing our best to resist those temptations?
This results in unnecessary spending and in a way denying others who may be needing more and who may use those items more productively.
If you buy and waste food or any other thing, you may definitely claim that the money is yours, but mind you, the product belongs to the nation. If there is scarcity anywhere, some of us, somewhere are responsible.
The principle of minimalism has, therefore, been propagated to consume less and live as simply and humbly as possible. It promotes possession of only those things that serve a purpose in our daily life.
This principle is applied to art, music, design and other areas, but my focus here is on the lifestyles.
“Less is more” is the fundamental principle behind minimalism that precisely means that removing unnecessary things adds more value. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
The criticism of minimalism comes in the form of a retort that “less is bore“, and propagates “more is more“. This is the principle of maximalism, an idea that complexity often offers value in some unexpected ways.
But maximalism, an aesthetic of excess, is a reaction against minimalism. It promotes excessive, showy and overtly complex lifestyle.
The issue finally drills down to what we think and do. Principles are many. Whether we accept and follow them is our choice.
I think both principles show the two extreme ends. There is little to choose between the two extremities. Either of them is difficult to be assimilated into our way of life. It can neither be enforced.
We have to apply our own prudence to decide what is “optimal minimum” for us and to accept “good enough.” To my mind, this is “optimalism” that we may aspire to follow.