Our Socio-Economical structure (here in the US) is designed to force a complex life upon us. Everything is set up for us to have things we don’t use, obligations we don’t want, ridiculous customs and traditions. And all of these things add no value to our lives; they just waste valuable time.
As an experienced Minimalist it becomes easy to keep our hoard manageable. Keeping our material possessions low is near thoughtless.
What DOES become an ongoing challenge is owning our own time while still maintaining an social life. This is why it is advisable to keep our social circle small, and heavily scrutinize who is in that circle. This is difficult to do as societal pressure would have us “befriend” every acquaintance we meet and adopt a myriad of social obligations that come with those new relationships. To not do so places a label on us as “mean”, “unfriendly”, or “recluse”.
Example: Social convention would have us befriending the parents of all our child’s friends. Lets say (conservatively) that our child has seven friends and that each of them has only one sibling. …….. That is fourteen child birthday parties we will be invited to every year. THAT’S A LOT, I don’t care who you are. Attending fourteen children birthday parties every year is wasted time, it adds no value. And you can’t just drop your child off at the party and go about your business (that’s rude). Truth be told, I am sure even our child is not getting much out of fourteen parties a year. And THAT is just friends …… don’t forget about extended family.
The above is just one example, but there are many social time-consuming conventions that come with having an active social life that we do purely out of obligation. To NOT do them is to be branded with a negative label. THAT is the bane of choosing a simple tailored life.
Truth is, I have no solution to this problem. People will brand us with labels, we just have to learn not to care. Maybe if there was a way to convey that it’s nothing personal; that we are comfortable with our social circle as it is. But nobody understands, because it’s all an ego game in American social culture.