I didn’t started my journey on becoming a minimalist for anyone else’s sake but my own, and I never thought my actions would effect anyone but me and my family. But what I am noticing is that others are noticing what I am doing, and are even inspired by what I do.
Granted it would be pretty difficult not to notice that something is going on, since I am giving away many of my possessions freely to anyone who wants them.
First people are hesitant when I say that I am giving them my books or dvd’s, they don’t really believe me when I say it’s theirs if they want it. And then they ask if I am serious, don’t I want them to pay for it? And then they take the stuff and almost run away with it in case I’d change my mind.
Most people also ask me why I am doing this (before they start running), don’t I want my things, won’t I watch that movie again or read the book another time? And perhaps they think I am crazy when my answer is that I don’t need these things any more, that we are trying to get rid of the excess in our life, but right now I don’t know how to explain it in a better way. I am trying to give them a short version of the thought of minimalism, without really mentioning the word “minimalism”.
My best friend sees me and my family as inspiration in many ways (which I find very amusing because I would love our family to be more like hers), and she totally gets what I am doing, but when I met her yesterday she was really shocked that I was giving away my books. “But, your books, they are a part of who you are, you love them!” Which is very true, they are by far the most difficult to get rid of (I only have 200 left now!). But I want to do it! I want them gone because even though I love them, I feel lighter and lighter as I give them away!
Anyway. Today I brought a big part of our DVD collection to work to give away to my co-workers. As one of the guys picked out a few, he said that I had inspired him to look through his collection at home, and to give the ones away that he didn’t love. I was very surprised because this is a man who loves his movies. But I also felt a twitch of happiness, because what if the actions that I am taking with my life actually effects people around me to take a closer look at their lives and think it all over. The consumption, the owning… (Now I am not saying that everyone should become a minimalist. Except that I say that they should)
When my co-workers had had their pick, I asked some random students outside my room if they wanted to have some movies. Now, they are 15 years old and aren’t that used to teachers giving them stuff (except for me, who hand out books…) and they were really happy but also a bit concerned. Why did I give away my stuff? I didn’t have time to give them a proper answer, but I think I will later this week.
I will tell them about minimalism, actually use the word, and, perhaps, inspire them in some way. But not by accident.