Dec 042019

Recently I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Following Kondo’s program of discarding clothes, books, papers and other objects I don’t love, I can testify that LESS IS CERTAINLY MORE in this realm too. Getting rid of stuff (mostly by giving it away) that I don’t need or love affords me more peace of mind, precision of thought, ease of movement, productivity and comfort. (And of course it’s fun to do stoned.)

I depopulated my clothes closet by more than 30 percent. Freeing up zones of the closet floor, where I’d stacked shoeboxes of photographs, old cassette tapes and, yes, some shoes, I uncovered impertinently thick, bold dust bunnies that apparently thought they’d established dominion. Vacuuming them up felt like airing out the corners of my soul. An explosion of energy and clarity!

So I’ve been thinking about this whole “less is more” concept. I’m in big grief and fear about climate change, species extinction, the decimation of the world’s forests, the depleted aquifers, the diminishing topsoil, the fouling of the oceans. What’s driving all this pollution and destruction? Human consumption, right?

I’ve often wondered why the words “sacrifice” and “conservation” have all but disappeared from our cultural conversation. They do feel a bit like old, dead words, I guess, and yet we DO have to conserve, and we WILL have to give up a lot of stuff if the next generation is to stand a chance of inheriting a livable world.

So maybe LESS IS MORE should be the new eco-slogan and political rallying cry. It’s got a sexier ring to it than “sacrifice,” doesn’t it? It’s a flinty and energetic little meme. And it’s really true! Less IS more! Just try getting rid of stuff, and you’ll see.

Just maybe, “less is more” can save the (human) world. Who knows? Worth a try.

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