A lot of people mix up travelling with ‘escaping’. They think that people who travel are trying to run away from bad things in their lives, or bad things that will/might happen to them like work, debt or demanding bosses.
But the problem is, it’s not simply enough to ‘run away’. That’s what a vacation is for. Real travelling isn’t running away, it’s running towards something – something new, different, mind-blowing and world-rocking, things that challenge the way we think people are or should be. Travellers may not have much, but what they gain is invaluable, even if you can’t see it.
And the same can be said of minimalism too. When we get rid of stuff, we’re not simply ‘getting rid of’ a piece of furniture or clothing. It’s not about the negative, but the positive side of the coin too. When we refuse to buy something we don’t need, we’re welcoming something better than a second car into our lives – the least being the chance to give back in our own way, no matter how small, to Mother Earth and to fellow human beings.
a case for ‘no’
Despite what most people think, saying ‘no’ can open up as many possibilities as ‘yes’ can.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m always looking for new opportunities and when I feel it’s right to say ‘yes’, great things can happen. Projects get started, I get to meet new people, ideas get pushed into reality and so on.
But the opposite is also true – saying no can be just as important. We don’t have unlimited time in our lives, or resources on earth. We have to stop saying yes to more and more stuff and start saying no to over-consumption, pollution and debt. ‘No’ can be a powerful weapon as a minimalist’s best friend.
‘No’ gets a bad rep because it’s mistakenly only thought of as a door-closer. But if you think about the kind of things ‘no’ unleashes – time, freedom, resources – you’ll see that in most cases, ‘no’ is not the opposite of ‘yes’, just it’s (sometimes more practical) counterpart.
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