This weekend I stumbled across a documentary on Netflix. It was about the minimalist movement. Titled "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things."
The main thesis is that the things in our lives are making us miserable.
Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn are The Minimalists. In the documentary, Ryan shared that "being a minimalist wasn't about getting rid of my stuff. It was about taking control of my life. Stop being told what to do, and deciding to do what I wanted to do."
In the documentary, you're introduced to all sorts of people across the country. All have shed many of their things. All becoming much happier as a result.
Josh shared that he used to bring things into his life without questioning. Now everything serves a purpose or brings him joy. His statement hit me in the gut.
And then Juliet Schor, Ph.D., Economist, and sociologist delivered the knock-out blow. Dr. Schor suggested that for American's to be happy:
We need to become more materialistic.
She argued that because we don't value the things we own, we become stuck in a never-ending cycle of consumerism. Always seeking more things. Always adding. Always desiring for bigger. Always trying to replicate imagined lives as a yardstick to what we should want.
If we become more materialistic, and truly value the few things we own, we can live more deliberately with less.
The minimalist movement is about bringing more (real things) into your life by owning less and truly valuing the few things we own.
That's a movement that makes me happy.