It is remarkably easy to relate things to one another. And by doing so formulate grand assumptions on life, love, and any other subject you wish. Doing so is particularly easy with metaphors, for any Freshman year philosophy class will reveal that anything can be spun into a metaphor on life – regardless of how far fetched the connection exists. Whether you are an ethics professor lecturing a class or stoned on your couch talking with friends, it’s common that lofty and idealistic topics are being discussed.
It’s a favorite hobby of mine to write maxims. Short and pithy statements such as, “the first step to a clean conscious is a bad memory” or “everyone hates manuals, but few have the courage to do anything without a manual”. The goal of writing such statements is to attempt at concisely pinpointing a general truth or rule of conduct. However, at the end of the day I missed the Parisian cafe era by almost a century – and taking the time to write such one-liners benefits nothing more than my own ego.
A few weeks ago while purging a final batch of possessions before returning to school, a lesson I had learned from a book on buying and selling real estate came to mind. “You don’t make money when you sell, you make money when you buy”, it goes…or something along those lines. In essence though, it’s advising investors to purchase property below market value, which means that their return will be made at signing. It’s good advice.
As I said earlier, anything can be related to anything. While disregarding item upon item, I began brainstorming ways that I could connect this real estate principle to minimalism. I did, and came up with something I found to be honest. And of course, I put it into a maxim.
“Waste isn’t when you get rid of something, it’s when you accumulate it”
Waste can only occur in situations where there is excess – excess food, clothing, or anything for that matter. For myself, when getting rid of many perfectly good clothes I often thought, “what a waste”. It wasn’t until recently that I realized it isn’t a waste getting rid of these things, but instead it was a waste buying them. And that by getting rid of my own waste, there is a (small) chance my former belongings may find their way to people who do need them – or begin their inevitable process of rotting back into the earth they came from.
There is no right answer. Never would I tell anyone what they do or don’t need. I’ve known crazies, some of whose happiness seemed to truly exist in daily shopping trips and Louis Vuitton luggage sets. In fact, I’d even say we are all innocent – because at the end of the day no one in my world, myself included, knows what true necessities are. However, I’d also argue that most all of us are guilty, because very, very few are trying to find out.