Happy Minimalist Monday, everyone! Hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are. ( fall for my readers down under!) I have been thinking about the importance of conscious thought and making an effort to think as we go about our daily routines. I do have a story about thinking to share with you which has a little bit of background information about me to help you put things in context. If you don’t have time for the story, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the post. 🙂
Math Got Me Thinking For Life!
When I was in my mid 20’s I went back to the local community college and spent about two years taking math classes. Why, why would anyone randomly do that? Well, because I was horrible at math. Not only did I struggle significantly with math ( the story behind this fact is a novel in itself) but I felt like both my high school diploma and B.A. degree in music education were a sham because of my weakness in the subject. I started with high school level courses to build the foundations I had never mastered as a teen and added trigonometry as well as three semesters worth of calculus before I felt like I had accomplished enough for my personal goals. I learned a lot about not only math but myself as well during those years. All of it good. In all honesty, I have forgotten so much of what I learned during those years because there is some math we use every day and there is some math that only people in certain fields use on a regular basis. To me it does not matter. The journey was well worth it. I gained an appreciation and respect of a subject I had dreaded and loathed, analytic skills that I was lacking,and the ability to see how math is connected to music and every aspect of life. Most importantly, I walked a difficult path by choice, saw how it developed my character, tested my determination, and helped me develop even more into the person I was meant to be.
I had an experience one semester that has never left me. It always makes me smile and then reflect on a deeper truth. It was during a test that the event took place. Our instructor was a retired math teacher, I believe Mr. Espinoza was his name. He was a bit of a character and during this test he was walking around the room with a yard stick. Why he was carrying a yard stick, I do not know.I was about to make a common but silly mistake on my test when the yard stick came crashing down on my desk. ” Think, dammit” he yelled. As I looked up in total terror, he smiled and gave me a wink as he walked away.
” Think, dammit” has become somewhat of a motto of mine over the years. There have been many times I wish I would have heeded the advice sooner but sometimes there is much to be gained in afterthought as well.
Over the past several years, as I have matured, I have reflected a lot about the process of thinking and how I fear as a society we do not really think at all but fall into easy trapping of the modern world.Sometimes I want to shout ” Hey, we don’t have to live this way!.We are not pawns in this country unless we allow ourselves to be!” That is just it. I fear too many of us have been given liberty only to choose slavery in exchange for short-term satisfaction. There are many ways to be a slave: debt, addictions, pop culture, putting too much importance on material possessions, these are just a few ways in which we enslave ourselves. Things that are meant to enhance our lives begin to control our lives unless we make conscious decision about how we are going to live.
Fortunately, there are still many people who do think. People who understand that with freedom comes responsibility .I believe that is one reason why Minimalism is becoming more and more appealing to so many people. To become a Minimalist is to make conscious decisions about how we live our lives. Minimalists understand the concept of cause and effect and how our decisions effect not just our lives, but our families, communities and future generations.
This is a short list of some of the things people will begin to think about differently when they follow a Minimalist lifestyle:
- The value of a solid family structure and putting people before things
- The role of money and possessions in life ( how they can serve and when they begin to control)
- The worth and dignity of every person on the planet
- The importance of sustaining the planet and our impact on the planet for all creatures and future generations
- What is uplifting to the human condition and what leaves us thinking and behaving at our lowest level of humanity
- The inner or spiritual side of life ( whatever that means for a person.)
- The ripple effect of our choices and actions
- What it means to be a caretaker of creation ( treatment of animals…)
- Who will have to clean up your mess when you are gone
- The legacy of each individual and how we collectively help the human race move forward or hold it back by our choices and actions
Well, that’s my story and list of things to think about. Do any of you have something you would like to add to my list that you have been thinking about with your interest in Minimalism? I would love to hear your thoughts and keep the conversation going!
Until next time,