Sometimes it’s tough to assign value to things, sometimes it’s blindingly easy. The trouble is when someone else assigns value to things for you. At the heart of minimalism is a shift in values. As a minimalist, I reject the idea that having things is the way to happiness. If I watch TV, I can’t avoid someone trying to make me feel like I need something I don’t have. Thankfully, I don’t have a TV in my home. The message is everywhere in western culture. Magazines are picture advertisements with a few articles included. Movies are full of product placements. All of them designed to get you to value a product enough to spend your money on it.
I am tired of it. I don’t value piles of possessions cluttering up my life. While I’m still in the process of ridding myself of years of accumulation, I’ve gone far enough down the road to know that I don’t intend to go back. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help think about where you place value.
- Do you love things?
- Do you love time?
- Do you love people?
- Do you love experiences?
- Do you love your faith?
- Do you love freedom?
In that list, I value faith, freedom, people, time and experiences. It’s a little strange, but I’m at a place in life where I could do without any of my possessions. I’m grateful that my wife is following along and learning to be minimalist as well. We value time with one another over time working for more money to buy new things. We value each other and our friends over sitting in front of a TV. We enjoy new experiences with one another over spending all of our money on stuff we don’t need. We love Jesus and not the world. We love the freedom of less stuff over collecting things that we would have to keep up.
What do you value?
Photo by: Nina Matthews Photography.