Thursday, November 6, 2014

A high-end lifestyle

Sometimes absurd word combinations can lead to understanding their components. Think about this article's title for a moment. Isn't it peculiar that today millions of people carry technical devices in their pockets, that a few decades ago would have been worth a fortune? And still we find ourselves complaining about them when they don't reliably work as expected? Your new smartphone really rocks, but will it still do three years from now?

The attribute "high-end" only makes sense in comparison. Compared to human life some hundred years ago our modern lifestyle is quite luxurious. Most of the readers will lead an objectively more pleasant life than the greater part of the world's population. So what makes us feel uncomfortable with it? Is it what we "make out of it"? The chances we take and our endeavors' results in relation to the circumstances we grew up in? Whatever angle you look at it from - there still is a duality. There is only a good, when we can distinguish it from the bad.

If we manage to accept competitiveness as human nature and do not deny it, we are free to focus on other things. We don't chase after status symbols as if our life depended upon them. We may still strive for success, but we just don't see it as the most important thing.

View the situation as a soccer game. Whether you play in a world cup finale or with friends in your free time - two teams are involved. If there is no opponent, the game doesn't make any sense. You can have fun, although you compete. But you don't need to cry when you lose. Or feel bad about winning, as long as you play fairly. With this kind of attitude it is much easier to shake each other's hands after the match and smile.

When you feel a desire for wealth and having an outstanding lifestyle, don't worry about it. Being minimalist can't take away the natural urge for rivalry in us. But it can let us laugh about our doggedness and help settling for less.

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