A prominent writer on minimalism wrote a post several years ago describing what minimalism looks like and how to do it: single picture on your desk; toaster, coffee maker, and microwave on the kitchen counter. The post went on, but I stopped about the time I got the the kitchen counter. I closed the post and unsubscribed from the mailing list.
The post wasn’t really about minimalism, it was a checklist for that particular writer’s brand of minimalism. It was instructions about what you had to do in order to do minimalism right.
I don’t believe in the One True Way for anything. I don’t believe that what I do is going to be right for everyone else. I don’t even know if what I do is going to be right for anyone else. But I do know that it’s right for me, at least at this time. Or it is a step in the right direction. Or it is the experiment I want to do.
I write these posts NOT to tell people what to do, but to show what I do and why. As a person who is struggling to make nutritional decisions in a world where much of what we think we know about nutrition and health is just wrong, I spend a lot of time trying to learn about both nutrition and my family’s nutritional needs. There is no single source of information that gives me all the answers and tells me exactly what I need to do with no modification.
I write to give options, to show what I’m working on and how and why. It helps me considerably to find out what others are doing and, most importantly, how they came to do it. Why do they think that way, how did they reach that conclusion? What are they trying and how can I tweak that for my family?
Ultimately, we are each responsible only for our own selves. It doesn’t matter the situation: I have to make the best decision for me, based on the information I have available, and I have to be the one to live with the consequences. The same is true for everyone.
Don’t take anything I say to be instructions on what you should do. Take it as information about what I do, take it as offering options, as inspiration, as an introduction to a different way of thinking about things.
And then make your own decisions.