Prepping and Minimalism
What does one do, when prepping is conflicted with the urge to become a minimalist?
Minimalism. It is one of the recent things born from the great depression after the G.F.C (Global Financial Crisis) and has grown into a people movement where they are no longer bound by material possessions and the yearn to derive large amounts of income, all from giving up large amounts of your time, in exchange for income. Minimalism has made a lot of people evaluate the important things in life and only focus on what matters, and what matters most, which is you and or your family.
Most people know the recent Netflix documentary The Minimalists.
But what do you ask yourself to do when you understand the valid and applicable reasons to minimise, but you are already amassing a varied amount of prepping gear, to survive a potential crisis?
Let us dive in a little deeper and examine some features of minimalism (In Brief).
- Gets rid of excess materialistic possessions or wanting them in the first place.
- Discovering purpose in life.
- Focuses on Health and family.
- Freedom to do better things in life and work less.
It all sounds great doesn’t it? Like having all your dreams come true and reclaiming your life. Now let us examine the opposite arguments against minimalism (Brief as possible).
- Objects and possessions bring to the Human race, upgrades, intelligence, advanced thinking, problem solving through to getting things done more efficiently. Then there is science and medical advances which improves the longevity and quality of life as well as our survivability in difficult conditions. Minimalism would eliminate any ‘drive’ or ‘experimentation’ to keep at the forefront of cutting-edge advances.
- Minimalism slows down our thinking and can often put people in a cycle of debt or advanced consumerism, whereby still having to ‘loan’ those items that are needed when you no longer own any of it, since you removed them when you minimised and this all costs more in the long term. This is a financially destructive methodology in many senses.
- Minimalism removes a lot of artistic expression, since you have nothing to use or play. For example, if you play an instrument or music in general, you might end up giving away your creative genius because you now only own one instrument instead of 2 or more. Yes, I hear you, the argument is that minimalism does not have to be a complete scale down and I agree, that everyone could benefit from minimisation to clear out the garage or let go of all those hoarded items, but full-scale minimalism could be intellectually disastrous. Artistic expression is what has lauded creed to an intelligent species in humans, so full-scale minimalism is helping you fall further down the rabbit hole, void of any meaning.
- This could rear its ugly head as an ‘idle’ lifestyle with consequences in mental ability, mental health and most of all, physical health since weight gain is more prominent in lower socio economic households and obesity is linked to a raft of health problems, generally caused by a sedated and inactive lifestyle with no purpose.
- Minimalism makes us drop out of anything worthwhile, with less drive, less spirit for progress, more individualism and living lonely to avoid any costs associated with being a social species in support of one another. You cannot ask a poor person who has nothing, to shun any opportunity to advance themselves, because this is like saying, we might as well starve ourselves to death, rather than find better ways to feed the people or help people with their needs or medical concerns.
So now that we have looked at both sides of the minimalism story (in brief), let us look at what we do as preppers to save ourselves for that chance of a crisis, a crisis that could spring into our lives at any given moment. This is referenced to recent events, like how war can just happen and how Covid-19 can just happen, or natural disasters can just happen. What happens to all the minimalists? They fall like a pack of cards in the pecking order because they have nothing to offer, nothing to trade and nothing to live off in their reserves. The preppers survive and the minimalists perish. It is that simple, they do not stand a chance.
In a connected community like the one that we have, we help each other. We have a humanitarian back bone, to do the hard work and to mutually assist in groups. This is called resilience. This is also called the human spirit, the drive to survive, it is the Aussie spirit, and we are proud that we can look after each other.
Now for the brewing question, can MINIMISING help us?
Yes, it can. It can help with the sliding scale effect that differentiates between the levels whilst adjusting itself based on a more intelligent method.
Skip the minimalism and go for the tried and tested, “minimising” which simply implies that you do a spring clean or a general clean up, make more room, stash your important prepping supplies, keeping calm and carrying on with purpose and emergency preparedness.
Adapt this and I would say you have now joined the realms of the wise people in your community.
What are your thoughts?
Sadly it takes challenging times or even crises, such as the Great Depressions, Wars or GFC’s to evaluate life and life’s priorities. Comfortable living can make us humans too complacent, whereby they do not even think about minimizing material possessions, but rather believe in materialism as a barometer to gauge “human success.”
For some of us, faith, health and family is what matters most, in that order, giving us perspective and balance, when deciding whether to accumulate material items or not. In other words, some of us thank God every day for life and the very breath we breathe; second, being healthy as a person, means we can function properly so we are able to enjoy life, without handicap or pain. And thirdly, family, then is appreciated because we have valued the previous two important values.
Freedom to do better things in life – has differing meaning to differing types of people. For some, the minimalist approach provides freedom in their life because they are not hampered by attitudes of “possession accumulation” and thus enables them to work less, due to less material expectations and that they divert their attention to “surviving simply” and/or having a “sense of community giving” because they have time to help others in various forms. For others, freedom to do better things in life, means, working hard and accumulating possessions and wealth, so as to help their family first and then help their communities because they financial resources to assist people in need or are experiencing life challenges.