Minimalism

May 20, 2015

I’ve long struggled with the concept of minimalism. But I think all minimalists would say that.

I struggle defining myself as a minimalist because I can think of so many examples of how I can’t be one. There’s almost an imposter syndrome involved, or a No True Scotsman, or an “I’m a better anarchist than you” thing at work — I can’t be a minimalist, because…

It’s similar to how the most quintessential hipster thing to do, back when everyone threw the allegation around, was to claim that they personally couldn’t be one, because…

I think there’s an almost Buddhist aspect involved, or at least some sense of mindfulness at play.

To accept an identity — be you a minimalist, Scottish, an anarchist, a hipster, Buddhist, and so on — you need to affirm constantly that a separation exists between you and everyone else; that you’re different; you’re not like those over there in that other camp.

A minimalist is someone who removes the unnecessary. They’re someone who’s constantly assessing what’s around them and whether there’s some amount of superfluousness that can be removed, all so the essential has more room and precedence. A minimalist’s favorite game is Jenga.

But isn’t everyone always considering what is and isn’t necessary? When does someone decide to put out the trash — before it rots, once it’s rotting, once they grow tired of the smells and bugs distracting them from what’s essential, maybe never?

Is every action taken not a decision of what is or isn’t necessary? Can every action not be interpreted as a giving or taking of something; both themselves inverses of their opposite — every action, including inaction, action?

By that I mean is birth not the death of death, or death not the birth of death?

Could the most-minimalist minimalist be someone who doesn’t consider themselves a minimalist?

Are labels just super-egos?

Are there any answers? No, only more questions.