Minimalist living has been a trend for some time. Choosing to let go of material things you simply don’t need can be both liberating and empowering. In addition, by spending less on unessential items, you can save tremendous amounts of money and reduce financial stress. These are all great reasons to consider minimalist living, but they might not be most important one. For many, minimalism offers you the power of giving back that greatly enhances your life. In fact, it is this power of giving back that drove many spiritual leaders, including Gandhi, to embrace simply living.
Minimalist living offers us the opportunity to give back in many different ways. Some you may appreciate while others you may not. But in each instance, simple living and a shift away from materialism invites acts of charity. It also allows us to have greater clarity and focus on what’s important in our lives. As a result, we are more inclined to be generous and hep others who are in need. This is when we experience the true power of giving back that minimalist living offers.
(To learn more about the importance of giving back, and how minimalist living can help, check out Ed Kopko’s book, PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success!)
“Happiness, the goal to which we all are striving is reached by endeavoring to make the lives of others happy, and if by renouncing the luxuries of life we can lighten the burdens of others…. surely the simplification of our wants is a thing greatly to be desired!” – Mahatma Gandhi
The Purge as an Act of Charity
One of the most challenging things for many pursuing a minimalist lifestyle is getting rid of collected items. Fortunately, getting started is the hardest part. One way to help you overcome any hesitation you have is changing your perspective. Rather than seeing minimalist living as throwing away precious memories, see it as a bold opportunity. Every item you choose to let go might be a gift to someone in need. By changing your point of view, you invite the power of giving back to help you accomplish the task. Rather than feeling a sense of loss with every item you give away, you feel just the opposite. Knowing you are helping others by choosing to live simply completely shifts your frame of mind for the better.
“Simplicity is the essence of universality.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Less Purchases Means More to Give
In addition to purging what you no longer need, minimalist living also means changing your buying habits. As you embrace a simpler way of life, you choose to no longer fill your home and closet with unnecessary items. Only those that true add value to your life and are essential are considered. In the process, however, you will undoubtedly find that you have more cash in the bank. This too creates an opportunity to experience the power of giving back. Depending on your situation, you may choose to donate to various charities. Or you may decide to create your own charitable organization or start a community program with the extra funds. In either case, this offers a great chance to experience the power of giving back resulting from a minimalist lifestyle.
“There is goodness as well as greatness in simplicity, not in wealth.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Green Giving Through Minimalism
As you can appreciate, minimalist living naturally involves having a smaller footprint. Choosing to own fewer items and live more simply, you use fewer resources. You may even downsize your living space or choose to bicycle instead of drive. When you choose these opportunities, you also invite the power of giving back in a broader sense. Not only do you make resources available for others, but you respect the environment and planet as well. The world has a finite number of resources, and minimalist living allows these resources to be replenished. Therefore, choosing to only have the bare essentials lets you give back in ways you might not have appreciated. Though not as tangible as a donation or charitable contribution, this type of green giving is still quite powerful.
A New Perspective of Others
The power of giving back is felt through minimalist living in numerous ways. But perhaps one of the most powerful is in its tendency to change how we view life. When we live simply and no longer focus on material items, we begin to see the world differently. Experiences became increasingly valued. Time spent with friends and family becomes more precious. And increasingly, we come to respect all of humanity and each person’s situation. In the process, we begin to invest more of our time and energy into these areas. Our focus shifts away from us as an individual to one that sees each of us as something bigger. This new perspective naturally makes giving back a greater priority and empowers us even more in the process.
“Live simply so that others may simply live.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Minimalist Living in Action
If you’re thinking of adopting minimalist living, now may be an ideal time. With extra time in lockdown, you might have time to go through your items at home. You may also have an opportunity to adopt new goals and priorities in your life. In our pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, “stuff” can sometimes get in the way. But when we stick to the essentials and share with others, we experience the power of giving back. This is when we are most likely to feel truly happy and most fulfilled. As the many quotes from Gandhi suggest, there is incredible power in simplicity. And by embracing minimalist living, and through the power of giving back, we enjoy this to its fullest.