This is a guest post about minimalism, happiness and our footprint on the earth, by my dear friend Achim Schreiner. Achim is a Buddhist, and I find his words both inspirational and uplifting. I am certain you will enjoy reading what he has to say as much as I do - Ro.
This is the first time I am going to contribute to my good friend Renee's blog and I would like to thank her for offering me the chance to participate. Minimalism in life can have so many faces and shades. We are often not aware of this and one of the crucial goals for someone who would call oneself a "minimalist" is to skip the omnipresent superficiality which we often carry along with ourselves. The ability to see and to appreciate the small things in life, the real values that count, to appreciate what we have and to stop crying for what we don't, is a decisive factor in and of the whole concept.
"Happiness" lies in small things. The old lady on the streets, who we lend a hand with her bags, the little boy that we show how to tie his shoes. The smile on their faces which we create with such small actions, makes life worthwhile. "If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them" is what the Dalai Lama said and it makes perfect sense to me.
We don't need to stick to material values, big fancy cars, houses, designer clothes and whatever else there is. In the end it won't make us happy. There is only one way to make ourselves happy and to leave the smallest possible environmental footprint on our earth: By our conscious decision.
WE are the ones who, in the end, decide if we go right or left, if we do good or bad, whether we do love or harm. All by ourselves! Therefore we are the creators of our own little world, a world which is able to grow, by setting an example which causes others to "think" and to reconsider their own life, habits and actions. As a minimalist, we don't have to ring doorbells in a "missionary" sense or manner. All we need to do is to set an example - an example of love and real values.
Achim is a multi-instrumentalist, session musician, singer/songwriter, composer and music teacher from Southwest Germany. He has three new albums out, and I am a great fan of his music! You can learn more about Achim and his music by checking out the following links: