Western society today is in a lot of trouble, global recessions, housing market crashes, etc etc. I think the sole reason for this is the commercialised world that we live in. You are taught from an early age, that you must do well at school, to get a good job which pays well, so you can have lots of money, and buy lots of nice and expensive things. This idea is forced into our minds throughout our childhood and continues through into our adulthood.
The items we desire change, from newer and bigger toys as children, to newer and more expensive luxurious cars as we get older. But the idea is exactly the same, the more stuff we have the happier we will be.
But the thing is, it's not true!
It just leads to us buying more and more stuff, which leads us to want a bigger house to put this stuff in, so we borrow money to afford the house, and now we have the house, we need more stuff to fill it up, so we use credit cards to borrow yet more money to pay for stuff which makes us happier, right? Wrong. Pretty soon, it starts to spiral out of control and you can't afford to pay off the debt. Oh, and don't forget all those subscription services like Sky TV, Mobile contracts, Super fast broadband, that you need to pay for monthly, to actually USE some of that stuff you've brought. So now we owe incredible amounts of money, but it's okay, because we're happy remember.
It's not all about the money either, we then have a large house which needs heating, which uses resources and harms the planet. We have a large luxurious and uneconomical car that uses far too much petrol.
Minimalism means surviving on just what you need, and it's a journey i've only just embarked upon. I used to be wound up in the world of buy, earn, buy more. Those who know me, will know how many gadgets I used to buy, and own. Many of them I still own, and use regularly. But I won't be buying any more, unless i NEED them, and I am also giving away those that I don't need. It's a long process, and I doubt I'll ever really get my possessions down to the bare minimum, but i'll enjoy trying, and reap the benefits in the process.