At a time when people in the West are experiencing the best standard of living in history, why is there such a longing for more?

In our capitalistic society, media and advertisements are attempting to convince us that possessions are the means to happiness. And unfortunately, the world has bought into that lie. Our homes are overflowing with things that are not essential. Our closets are full of clothes we don’t wear. Our kids own toys with which they never play. And eventually, the things we own, come to own us.

Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose. –President Jimmy Carter, 1979

In the past few decades, the retail industry has evolved in ways meant to control our shopping habits. The quality of goods has decreased and the quantity of goods has increased.

The fashion industry is driven by a strategy called fast fashion. Four seasons of fashion—spring, summer, fall, and winter—have been replaced with a cycle of 52 seasons per year. They want you to feel out of trend after one week so you buy more the following week.

Minimalism is the lifestyle of less as more. Also known as simple living, minimalism is a lifestyle of intentionality in which you choose to live with only the essentials of life, owning as few possessions as possible.

Committing to a life of minimalism and simplicity is key to the way of Jesus. It cultivates emotional health and gives us power in the fight against over-consumption.

Even more, and even better, we choose to no longer contribute to a system that takes advantage of the people who manufacture the goods. When companies no longer sell as many products, they are no longer able to subject humans to forced labor.

Take an inventory of the things you own. Which of these things can you live without?

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is a film that examines the shopping habits and lifestyles of the average American. It delivers a secular perspective on Minimalism, which is also known as the spiritual practice of simplicity. It also discusses meditation, which is also know as the spiritual practice of silence and solitude. Watch this film and discover more about these simple principles that can lead to real contentment and freedom.

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Author: Tyler Hanns

Creative & Communications Director