In today’s world we are overwhelmingly exposed to media entertainment in some form or another. Whether it’s from our TV, smartphone, computer, billboards, or radio, businesses are constantly trying to flash messages at us through any means that will monopolize most of our time. I say “entertainment” because whether the media is a video game, sitcom, movie, music, or even advertisement, it is presented in a way to keep the consumers attention. I believe the trouble with this is that it makes us desensitized to all the natural beauty around us. Perhaps “desensitized” is the wrong word. More appropriate to say: We have become so accustomed to the fast paced entertainment of this digital world we live in, that when natural beauty crosses our path, we don’t realize and acknowledge it.
This is one of the many reasons that myself, and many other minimalists’ are able to live happier lives. We don’t spend as much time “plugged in.” That is, we are not constantly exposing ourselves to the digital media outlets. And the times that we do expose ourselves, is done so with intent; not simply as “empty calorie” entertainment. By limiting our digital time, we don’t allow ourselves to be desensitized by this form of entertainment. We still recognize the beauty and wonderment of the real world, the natural world. And I don’t just mean things like sunrises, sunsets, rivers, waterfalls, trees, and all that jazz. But also about the subtleties of human interaction. Things like:
- A polite dinner conversation.
- A back or foot massage in front of a roaring fire.
- Holding the hand of our lover.
- a kiss
- a wink
- a hug
- a caress
- a gesture
These are the things that connect people. It is this connection, that so many of us have lost, despite it’s availability. We have come to take these things for granted. Such a loss. The result of this is, that we are less happy. Too many of us have forgotten, or don’t realize, how badly we need these things for happiness.
So, with that being said, minimalism is also about keeping ourselves from taking these things for granted. We always keep ourselves rooted in the natural world, with people. If in order to do this we must curb our digital time, so be it (small price to pay). By living with fewer media outlets, less distraction, less empty entertainment, fewer time killers, we are more open to absorbing the natural beauty around us. It is these things, that are the real riches that life has to offer.