It can be said that animals are the ideal minimalists. Even the ravaging swarms of locusts do one thing and do that thing very well. It cannot be said the locusts waste anything. We see the same concept of minimalism displayed throughout nature in all species except one. When it comes to excess and waste, who can argue that any other creature in nature rivals that of man?
When we look objectively at our great society can we really say that we are made content by our many things? Who could argue the logic if we could save more by living in a modest home rather than toil harder and longer to sustain mansions? Even the wealthiest among us escape to the simple pleasure modest retreats. And those that find success speak with pride of their humble beginnings. Could it be that we all seek the contentment that comes from a simpler existence?
We all conserve more and spend less during times of economic hardship. We become more aware of the value of things as we begin to rely upon our resourcefulness. We may initially miss the luxuries we do without. But in time, we come to wonder why we bothered to have them to begin with. We come to learn how to discern between that which are necessities and that which are amenities. Even when we return to prosperity this knowledge never leaves us.
Minimalism in times of economic prosperity is not only survival, but can be said to be successful. Is it in the things we possess that make us wealthy or the security provided by that which we have saved? When we reduce the clutter and the excess from our lives, we can begin to shed our misconceptions of what matters. Perhaps then we see that contentment comes from within rather than from the accolades of others. This message may become more than a mere abstract in the years that come.