I read somewhere recently that 2020 has given us the chance to fix everything that’s not right. While this might be less of consolation to people who have lost jobs, careers and loved ones, 2020 has definitely given us the opportunity to priorities and re purpose our lives. A nascent realization that stuck post Corona was that you need minimal resources to live adequately.
Yet most of us fabricated a minimalist lifestyle out of sheer compulsion. A generation living on the behest of consumerism had to rather forcefully ascend towards minimalism. Minimalism explained in a jiffy is us reconsidering the value we attach to material objects. Minimalism gives us the opportunity to streamline the irrelevant so we can focus on things that actually matter.
Hours, days and weeks became irrelevant when we all started spending time indoors. Hence in order to bring some structure to my post Corona life, I made it a point to dedicate not more than thirty minutes a day to exercise. Thirty minutes but EVERYDAY. What started as a time filler had larger consequences.
Just thirty minutes of regular plain exercise- no fancy gyms, no healthy food apps, and the clothes were fitting better, the skin was clearer and the mind was less foggy. Which made me realize that for a greater part of my life, i have considered well being as an extension of other factors rather than health itself? A larger part of looking good and feeling good was following a fad, array of clothes and makeup when it should have been plain discipline within myself.
We live in times where we don’t buy what we want. We want what we are actually told to buy. A slight mention of a preference for a product redirects us to million pop ups on social media. Consumerism has been fed deep into our throats. Algorithms dissect our taste only to suggest more of the same. Our data is building brands leading us to over commit to things we didn’t need in the first place.
Now when I visit ornately stocked grocery stores it surprises me that there used to be times when I used to pick up things which were far from being essential with an unrequited mindlessness. I think a lot of consumerism is about taking away the mindfulness needed to purchase a commodity. A consumerist culture is leading people to work beyond their abilities and incurring debts for commodities that may not be categorized as essential.
But the sad part is that this kind of prosperity isn’t making humans healthier or happier (As consumerism spreads, Earth suffers- National Geographic) While rising consumerism is aiding the economy, at the same time it’s undermining natural ecology. An increase of the throw away mentality is adding to the environment’s woes. So perhaps it isn’t wrong to concur that an introduction to minimalism will not only declutter our minds but bring more sanity to the way we produce.
To highlight over consumption, my recent experimentation with intermittent fasting has taught me that all of us have spent most of our lives being overfed and it has very little to do with actual hunger. Even the nastiest replica of my favorite foods when made at home felt better for the body. We live in times where the sugar industry has been glorified.
An industry so powerful that it has exonerated claims of being more harmful than perceived by paying thousands to Harvard scientists and nutritionists. At present we are squished between two industries where one wants to capitalize on our obesity and other on our obsession of looking flawless. The corporations have made us believe that things like health, immunity and fitness are overdrawn pricey processes.
Yet these unprecedented times have taught us simplicity. They have rekindled times where the resources were less yet life remained adequate. Maybe when all this is over, we will shall stumble upon our old ways. But perhaps, whenever we would remember these times of limitations, we shall count it as a bliss.