We will be moving house soon and this was the reason of reviewing each corner of our place. What to keep and what to throw away? Not easy to make a quick decision.
We were, of course, aware of the consumerism aspects and of the minimalist life-style. But with the daily rush we always said: Let’s put this there, who knows when we may need it!
The consumerism as such has got a number of meanings. One of them refers to the high level of consumption in a time period when the today’s society offers us a lot of temptations.
Simple living was the default status of the community I grew up in. We had raw food on the table, rarely processed. It was common practice to get the food straight from our garden and the food preservation for winter and spring was common practice, and a tradition inherited from our ancestors.
My consumerism experience goes back to my earlier years, when I left the village to go to high-school. I was happy to discover the processed food, its taste, as well as the pleasure of buying certain things, no matter whether I needed them or not. It was the pleasure of owning something in those years when everything belonged to everyone.
My first consumerism experience was with the books. There were, of course, books I wanted to read. The libraries offered most of the reference titles, but I wanted to own a book collection. Keeping the books around me was a way to re-read some of them or to check certain paragraphs and pages whenever I needed.
The 70’s were good years in Romania. While growing I wanted to fulfil certain needs. The 80’s started to be difficult years with basics lacking from the market. It was difficult to find even regular coffee. What we easily had in the 70’s became rarities later. There was some money but not many chances to shop properly.
I believe I become aware of the consumerism at such in the late 90’s. Many food and entertaining items came from Western Europe and other corners of the world. They were very tempting. Actually they were “the forbidden fruit”, which we could not have before the ’89.
Today, we all end up in the consumerism circle. An electric device does not necessarily last like before. It breaks after 4-5 years, which is the regular life cycle. Otherwise, if we do not buy a new one more often than before, the economy does not move, isn’t it?
We are trying to adopt a minimalist life style and whenever we go for shopping we agreed to ask ourselves the basic question: Do we need that? Can we live without it?
We also think of minimising the household waste. We cannot eliminate it entirely, as we live in a consumerist society, isn’t it?
I am not afraid of saying that it is never too late to learn simple living.