Many of us have what feels like over-complicated lives these days: too many tasks, commitments, and pursuits. It may be helpful, according to a recent article by Lisa Avellan in The Epoch Times, to ask ourselves what are the benefits of minimalism and what can we not afford to eliminate from our busy schedules? Here’s a list of nine things she recommends that we examine as “keepers,” accompanied by a short summary of their benefits.
- Relationships. Uncluttering our spaces and schedules makes more time for the important people in our lives: family, friends, co-workers, and new acquaintances.
- Community. Sharing activities at home, school, work, church, or neighborhood enriches and expands our lives.
- Gratitude. No amount of wealth or number of possessions can create true contentment; the essentials really are enough.
- Empathy. Keep an open heart toward others, even if they don’t agree with your material or spiritual opinions.
- Generosity. Donating and re-homing unused items frees up space for service and makes potential necessities available to others.
- Education. Even if it never earns us a dime, education is still valuable and deepens our capacity to understand ourselves, other cultures, and diverse belief systems.
- Dreams. Unloading stuff and slowing down busy-ness help keep dreams and lifelong passions alive and breathing and full of hope.
- Forgiveness. It’s a critical part of life’s true experience of love. Without it we would all be extremely lonely! Real connection involves the ability and willingness to forgive others as they forgive us.
- Joy. The more we buy the less content we are, which means something in our set of values is off-kilter. Less stuff results in more joy.