On Consumerism vs Minimalism

(Mel Saint) #1

On Consumerism vs Minimalism

I will take the stance of Consumerism because I was a stockbroker trained in Wall Street and all the companies I’ve worked for run on the machine of Capitalism. So it will be ironic for me to say that I hate Capitalism because it has fed me and I just can’t bite the hand of the someone who fed me.

I love going to the malls. I love the physical sensation of having to try out first the goods that you’re going to buy rather than going through the hassle of returning it back to Amazon, if it’s the wrong fit. Online shopping is like sex with condom. You just don’t “feel” it. And I get bored at home! So should my life goal be, is to stay at home the whole day like a teenager who’s addicted to video games and plays the whole day? Going to the mall doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is when I don’t have money to buy anything at the mall.

If I am going to be a Minimalist, just like Marie Kondo, how can I try all the brands to determine which is the best? Like, how can I know which is better: Nike or Adidas, if I’m not going to try and buy both? You can only truly test a product if you’ve used them every day and not just a one time testing at the mall. You have to feel the wear and tear of the product. And I don’t like Nike anymore, because it has become so commercialized that the quality is no longer there. So you’re just buying the brand and the hype but no longer the quality. And I always go for comfort because I always travel. And I have a high arch feet and it often sores if I’m using the wrong type of shoes.

I am a day trader and I only trade for 1-2 hours and that’s it, I’ve made tons of money in that span of time. Should I join the protesters of “Occupy Wall Street” and blame everybody else except myself? Is that even productive? You can make money everyday in the market because the market always moves(except for holidays and weekends). And if I lose money in the market, I have nobody else to blame but myself because I am the one pressing the buttons of buy and sell. So once I made money in 2 hours, what the hell would I do for the rest of my day? Stare blankly in mid air? Stare at my money and not do anything with it? Of course, I will give to charity. And I will enjoy the money that I made as well. It’s a win-win proposition. I get to enjoy my life and help others as well.

Part 1

(Bill Ames) #2

I had to look it up. " Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes less financial burdens, such as debt and unnecessary expenses. … For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions."

Now, I am retired and at 75 think this is the way it should be. I discovered when my wife Lori passed on, it was necessary to dispose of a lot of “stuff.” And when I decided to move to Florida, I had to dispose of a lot more stuff I had accumulated. I will say that as a family, we had gathered much too much.

The problem is that it is difficult to tell the family we are not going to get stuff because it will be a burden when we get old. I will point out that a lot of stuff we got was useful in expanding our lives. We learned a lot, gained skills, making life more enjoyable. I grew up in an impoverished family, and we had nothing, I know nothing. As my life experience and skills grew, so did my desires for stuff. Yes, I got too much stuff. Here in retirement, I am still trying to dispose of stuff.

I do not know how you have a country where people do not have access to choices. Look at the stores in Russia 50 years ago, empty shelves. We do not want that. Look at what is on the shelves in a Walmart or Costco; we do not need (we may wish to though) all of it.

And, we run into the ultimate problem, how can we address the purpose of life? For me, that is to be creative. I am now focused on that. I use Ideapod as a canvas, not the only one, but it is useful for practicing. Because of this question of yours, it is addressed to people in all phases of their life, what each will do is different. Can you give us a way of choosing based on where we are in our lives? Being a parent of a 1 and a 2-year-old is different than being a widower moving to Florida.

(Mel Saint) #3

Thanks Bill! Yes at your age, I would have settled down as well and all my propensity for material stuff would have dried up. But I am still young and I still have it, so I’m just going to enjoy my youth until it lasts. Life has its own cycle and we all shall abide by that.

(Bill Ames) #4

I think we do not have many people who, at some middle age, realize a perspective of themselves in the seventies or older. They may be there but are perhaps staying in the background as the children (you tend to view people 40 years younger than yourself as children) make a mess of the world. Most of the children do not like to be preached to, and I do not know how to change that. Most good things are common sense and do not need to be lectured, make a note of them. Try not to become a prisoner of your possessions; they can become a terrible burden.