How do you see the minimalist lifestyle?
  ·  2021-03-08  ·   Source: ChinAfrica
Less is more

Lu Hongping, A-26-year-old middle school teacher in Guangdong Province 

The minimalist lifestyle needs to be considered only after we own more than we need. Nowadays, the rapid development of the society has brought a lot of wealth and material possessions, which has become a burden for many. In addition, the fast-paced life we have today makes us busier than ever and we have less time to do something relatively unimportant. Therefore, I think a minimalist lifestyle is necessary to help people ease their burden and focus on the best part of life.

Although I'm not a strict practitioner of minimalism, I do benefit a lot from a simpler life. When I got employed in 2018, I squandered my salaries on lots of clothes, shoes, cosmetics, books and food to enrich my life. However, piles of things made my room messy and a lot of stuff had to be thrown away unused.

About one year ago, I laid my hands on a book named Danshari, which encourages people to cut out unnecessary stuff, throw away junk and step away from their obsessions. Following the instructions, I started to change my lifestyle and surprisingly found out that my life is much better with less.

Another bad habit I have worked hard to change is spending too much time on my phone and iPad as a means to release myself from the work stress. A lot of my valuable time was wasted on various time-killing apps which didn't do much good to my self-improvement.

Adopting a simple life can be a bit challenging and needs constant effort. Here are some tips I find helpful. First, concentrate on things that are really important and meaningful. Second, access to information should be simple and well-targeted; reading books is a good alternative to meaningless social interaction and time-killing apps. Third, purchase fewer goods with better quality and tidy up your room regularly.

A minimalist lifestyle isn't equal to austerity. It's a habit we can form to simplify our life. With less desire both materially and mentally, there will be more room for self-improvement, happiness and inner fulfillment.


The counterintuitive gift of less 

Abel Hara, A 25-year-old Zambian medical student in China 

Having lived in China for the better part of half a decade, I have experienced something akin to a global melting pot while studying clinical medicine at Gannan Medical University in Jiangxi Province.

One of the things I found in the backdrop of interacting with fellow students and expatriates alike was the notion of minimalist living. This was a term that was initially foreign to my psyche, but as I intersected with people from various walks of life, it became increasingly apparent that to many, having more doesn't automatically translate to being better.

As I approached this lifestyle from the perspective of an outside observer, attempting to see if there was anything to it, I began to think that minimalist living is more a question of priority than it is of merely living a simplistic lifestyle or the deliberate removal of the unnecessary things from one's life.

To me, it is a subjective way of living that encompasses every sphere of life ranging from the seemingly mundane to the blatantly spectacular; creating order from chaos and reclaiming the simplicity and focus of prior generations.

I look at how the increasing interconnectivity of our world owing to technological advances has brought us all closer together and gifted us with an array of choices which prior generations may not have had.

To me, this is a double-edged sword and as a young person from Zambia living in China, a country at the cutting edge of technological innovation, I must constantly wrestle with the tension of maximizing the benefits of seemingly being able to do anything or buy anything or pursue anything that I fancy and the reality of holding on to the stalwart focus and discipline that characterized prior generations who seemingly focused on what mattered most and deviated from their priorities least.

The beauty of minimalist living is in the way it allows an individual to reclaim a sense of meaning in life by letting go of what is permissible and only holding on to what is necessary.

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