At the Intersecton of Minimalism and Ethics

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I’ve had to make a lot of really hard ethical decisions lately at work and it has got me thinking about how ethics and minimalism intertwine. Working at trying to create an ethical work environment is daunting and intimidating. You can be going up against such strong forces of the status quo and severe unaccountability for how the decisions of a few impact real lives in such a dramatic way.

While brainstorming the shared themes between minimalism and ethics, I came up with the following points and after-school-special notes for myself. Minimalism and ethics both involve on some scale:

1. Only taking what you need and leaving the excess behind for others that need.

2. Trying to see the bigger long term picture of community and experience being more meaningful in contrast with consumerism and selfish motives.

3. Giving better than getting (This is huge around Christmas time, bonus points!)

4. Inner creativity and richness building as opposed to building up of material items

5. Relationships, autonomy and courage to make the right ethical decisions in the face of real and imagined fear centered around losing material security blankets.

That last one is huge for me. Fear is a huge enemy of ethics in my life. It hinders me from making truly ethical courageous decisions as I’m scared of inciting the big monster of the status quo and letting insecurities take over my personal ethics.

Minimalism is one of the tools that helps me combat destructive fear patterns in my life. It helps me face and eliminate fear by helping me realize these truths:

– Material items and money while deceptively claiming to add security will never keep you immune to harm, devastation, rough times and mean people.

-Inner security can’t come from other people and money

– In a direct way, fear and dependency can be averted by minimalism in how you buy less, want less and create financial independence from the things that make you reliant on systems of consumerism and insecurity.

– Minimalism reduces what you need so that you can be freed up to focus on things that add real memories and ethical value to your life instead of staying in a cycle of fear.

Dear Women Who Don’t Need Feminism – An Open Letter

Originally posted on Project Soapbox:

Dear Women Who Don’t Need Feminism,

I wonder if we could have a little heart-to-heart. I hope that you will take the time to read this post, and perhaps even respond – because I think it’s important that you are not written off by those looking in as simply ‘unreachable’. I also hope that you will not approach this letter with a closed, defensive mind or, far worse, immediately switch off and disengage because it is written by a self-declared feminist. It isn’t going to be an easy read – nor was it easy to write. 

Since the phenomenon began on Tumblr, #WomenAgainstFeminism has gone viral and has been gaining increasing media attention. It has also caused quite a stir within feminist circles. We have sat back, collectively scratching our heads, wondering where we could have gone so wrong that young women like yourselves are so happily and publicly turning their backs on the very thing…

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Minimalism and Surviving Black Friday

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After deleting over 50 Black Friday emails and fighting my own inner urges to take up offers for coupon codes and free gifts, I can’t honestly say that I haven’t bought anything today, but I can say that I am serious about my commitment to having a minimal Christmas.

Here are some of the cornerstone elements that I hope to make the focus of my Christmas this season:

1. More reflection and less stress

2. Take lots of pictures and really think about what’s important in my life as seen through the focus of the camera to give me a different perspective.

3. Listen more to my family and friends about their hopes and fears.

4. Do/make things involving all my senses of taste, feel, smell, hear and vision.

5. Don’t listen to what the season says we have to do and listen more to what creates memories and meaning.