I’d like to propose another way to think about ‘minimalism’.
Relative to other humans from other places and eras,
We’re actually a ‘maximalist’ society.
And because the paradigm is so firmly established
Many of us have never considered it.
For hundreds of thousands (…perhaps millions) of years, we’ve possessed mainly what we could carry with us.
With the advent of agriculture (and the consequent move to a more static way of life), plus the more defined idea of ‘property’, this changed.
But it’s only been in the last century or so that the average person has really been able to let their acquisition of things get out of hand.
For that, we can perhaps blame mass production, along with the cost of ‘stuff’ decreasing, and the access to stuff increasing.
Anyway, many would agree that a large number of us today (…in the developed world at least) simply have too many possessions (…and in some countries more than others).
We even have a term (‘minimalist’) for people who take a more conscious approach to the acquisition of things – thus separating out these minimalists out as exceptional, perhaps austere.
So, from the perspective of history – it’s not that some people are minimalist – it’s that many of us today are maximalist.
Image. by Boris Thaser