Holiday time is upon us again. Nominally, it’s a time for reflection and renewal, but when I take a good look around it seems to also be the prime time of the year to practise artifice, busyness and wastefulness.
Around me I have seen numerous gifts – produced in questionable working conditions – exchanged as part of our obligatory holiday customs, only to be discarded as soon as something newer and shinier is presented to the recipient.
Meanwhile, this summer 15 tonnes of rubbish were left on Coogee Beach, Sydney, after drunken Christmas revellers decided to not clean up after themselves in an appalling act of selfishness and blatant disregard for the environment.
Then last night was New Year’s Eve. From what I could see on social media, bringing in the New Year (for the Gen Ys, at least) is all about prancing around at music festivals in carefully curated ‘hippie’ outfits, consuming food and drink from single-use plastic containers, all the while participating in a continuous photoshoot consisting of selfies, selfies and more selfies. Oh, and documenting it all online for the world to admire, of course.
Do I sound jaded? Maybe I’m being too judgemental, but I’m tired of it all, and I don’t want to end up being a cynic. Cynicism means all hope for change has been extinguished. Instead, in 2017 I want to keep moving forward, and I’m even more determined to stick to the less is more principle this year so I can keep up that impetus:
Less stress means more happiness.
Less comparison means more gratitude.
Less busyness means more reflection.
Less screen time means more reality.
Less stuff means more freedom.
Less waste means more environmental and social justice.
Instead of doing, being and consuming more in the New Year, I challenge myself (and you, if you are willing!) to simplify and find happiness with less.
Further reading for a simpler new year:
I love this article, 5 Questions for Less Doing & More Being in the New Year, by Melissa Camara Wilkins.
And a good minimalism game never goes astray, either!
Wishing everyone a very happy and peaceful 2017!