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Consumerism and minimalism. where is the line drawn?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Genuine Mathias, May 10, 2018.

  1. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I’ve been thinking of how and when to approach my daughter on these two topics. She’s only 5, but I believe it’s an important conversation to have with her one day.
    I consider myself a minimalist.
    Clothes:
    3 pair of shoes
    3 shorts
    4 pants
    7 t-shirts
    7 pair of socks
    2 beanies
    1 belt

    Electronics:
    1 watch
    1 phone
    1 headphone

    Books: 3

    Furniture:
    4” twin sized mattress

    Transportation:
    1 bike
    Also have dishes but I have nothing that I don’t use on a daily basis.

    The question I’ve been asking myself is, What point is a person considered a minimalist or unhealthy consumerist?

    Please speak freely but respectfully.
     
  2. Consistency
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    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    There is a fine line between want and need.

    Consumerism is wanting something when it is not really needed because something is missing.
    Minimalism is understanding that buying something that isn't really needed will not fill the void of joy.

    To me consumerism is leniency, minimalism is discipline and anti-consumerism is strictness.
     
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  3. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    For a second I thought you said you had 4 mattresses, wouldn't have been very minimalist. I wouldn't call myself a minimalist but I have some minimalist leanings and am heading in that direction.

    For a 5-year old especially (or for anyone) minimalism can'tbe just one conversation. It is more a series of conversations as well as showing with your own behaviour. Small snippets of conversation may work better with children than a long chat due to limited attention span on serious issues.

    For toys/dolls, try a 1 in, 1 out rule once the total amount reaches a very high level and some are not being used.

    Try not to push minimalism in a way that will impact her social life or social standing. For example, if in some years she wants a phone and every friend has a phone, buy her the smart phone.

    If she really really wants to give out party bags with toys at her party, let her do it.

    Allow her to make these decisions as long as she discusses the issues with you.

    Otherwise she is going to associate minimalism with deprivation and backlash as an adult, make sure she associates minimalism with joy.

    Give her choices. You can buy x or y but not both. Then you get the things that you really want.

    If your daughter is also living with her mother then both of you need to be in agreement about minimalism if you want to push her down that route at a young age. In which case you can push her more in that direction. If your partner opposes you, then it may be more difficult. You may have to settle for educating her to be minimalist later as an adult. With societal pressures against you, you will need to settle for partial success if you don't have the support of your partner.
     
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  4. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    Thank you for the great advice. It will be challenging since I live 750 miles from her and her mother. When she visits, she will start to notice how little I have. She’s very observant and outspoken. I’ll let the questions come naturally at first. I’m very patient.
     
  5. winston10

    winston10 Member

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    Are you a minimalist by choice or necessity? in other words, do you have plenty of money but only spend it on necessities or do you just not have any money? It's hard to comment without a bit more info.
     
  6. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I developed a rule to go through my belongings and if I didn’t use something in six months, it was something I obviously did not need. When I sold or donated something that I hadn't used I felt mentally lighter. Fast forward 4 years and my rule to donate or sell was changed to one month. As this occured I realized I needed less apartment which lowered my bills and also didn’t need as many utilites. Only the necessities. Having no TV to zombify myself with, or couch to sit on, got me out of the apartment to start experiencing life.
    As you can see, it was the snowall effect.

    Now, I have an understanding of exactly what I need or want in life. I have quit a stressful “middleclass” meaningless job and got one that providess enough to put food on the table, pay my $350 rent with utilities and do the things I enjoy with hardly any stress.
    Am I financially poorer? Yes.
    Do I have poor life quality? No, quite the opposite.
     
  7. winston10

    winston10 Member

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    My advice is be yourself, share the things you enjoy doing with your daughter and not even talk about it. Be an example, not a teacher.
     
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  8. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I agree. Thanks for the support.
     
  9. winston10

    winston10 Member

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    For most of my life I've been a minimalist, but with a severe fear of being broke. So, I live below my means and always sell stuff if I lose interest in it or don't need it anymore - I'm the opposite of a hoarder. I've missed some great investments because I abhor gambling. So although I may not ever be "rich" I most assuredly won't end up living under a bridge. Materialistic people make my stomach turn, especially those who do it on credit cards and loans. So, we may have some things in common.
     
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  10. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I was that way once. Now I’m debt free!
     

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