Source: Water Life

So I've already laid out my pros and cons of why I'm actually doing this, but there's another aspect to it that I didn't really explore in that post, and it basically revolves around the idea of minimalism.


We do things big in America. We love our malls, our big meals, our bigger televisions, and our huge trucks and SUVs. We live in a time of unprecedented opulence and convenience, but that doesn't come without its own issues. The main one is that it is completely and utterly unsustainable. I remember learning in a high school environmental science class that it would take the resources of four or more planet Earths if everyone on the planet were to live the way Americans do. We're supremely wasteful and consumptive, and it's a lifestyle our grandchildren will certainly not be able to "enjoy".

My Thoughts

I feel that I've always been pretty content with what I have, and I don't generally buy things that I don't need. That said, in high school I bought a 46 inch television and a 1000 Watt sound system, which was completely excessive by any stretch of the imagination. I got great use of them yes, using them right up until my graduation from college, but they weren't necessary for me to live the way I wanted to. I gave them away to my sister and a friend, after all, the only things I brought to California with me were some clothes and a laptop.

And from here on out, I'm going to be perfectly content without unnecessary material. I get the most enjoyment from self-improvement, and for me, that comes from books, exercise, and working on personal projects (like this blog). I wouldn't be any happier with a 50 inch television or a Playstation 4, because those don't align with my goals for life*. Being wealthy isn't a function of material, it's a function of contentedness.

*Disclaimer: I do own a smartphone, nice headphones, and a laptop, and as a result I have undoubtedly contributed to the suffering of many child workers in factories at Foxconn and elsewhere. I view these devices as necessary 21st century tools for doing my job effectively, and I strive to take care of them and only replace them when necessary.

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