Minimalism and Frugality

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(copyright TBS). It’s very common to meet people who presume the possessions they have give them an air of superiority. I, for my part, usually do the opposite: boast of what I don’t have. I don’t have flat screen TVs, DVD players, an iPad / iPod, or jewelry …, the list goes on and on.

What has surprised me a little is that there are people who react badly to this, and I can’t help wondering why. Why are people bothering to see other people do things radically different from what they do? Here are some possible explanations.

First, the influence of the status quo. In general terms, and unless there are very powerful factors that induce change, people tend to repeat the same patterns of behavior they have always had or seen around them. For many people, saving a few dollars on a garment or any other product may not be a sufficient reason to do things differently.

In relation to this point is the tendency that we humans have of FOMO (fear of missing out). And every time we deny ourselves an item that we see and that we would like to have, we feel that we are somehow “losing out,” rather than thinking about the money we are saving. Hence, the rise and overabundance of consumerism in the US.

I think the most determining factor is the illusion of superiority. People tend to overestimate their qualities, abilities, possessions and lifestyle compared to others. When they meet a person who does something completely different from what is normal for them, the only explanation is that it is something wrong. We all believe to a greater or lesser extent that our way of doing things is right. It is completely normal.

This has led me to think about what readers will think of this blog if they encounter some article with which they disagree. Perhaps there are some who feel personally attacked by the article as to how they do things or their lifestyle. Which is impossible, because there is no way for me to know what they are doing and, therefore, I can not make any kind of judgment.

On the contrary, I am convinced that many times there will be readers who think that their system is better, which is great because it opens the possibility of comparing and discussing different and sometimes divergent points of view.

Instead of feeling judged or attacked when we see other people do things differently, we should reflect on those differences so we can then decide which formula is best and why. It is important that we are flexible enough to put aside the preconceived idea that our opinions are correct so that we can grow learning from others.

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