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Minimalism (2016): Keeping What’s Important

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Minimalism has been a phenomenon word for the past couple of years. This style of life asks you to live your life with stuffs that you think matter the most. Throwing away things that are not important, adding the value to the one in front of us.

Speaking about minimalsit, is not right without talking about 2016 documentary, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016). I watch this documentary long ago, perhaps in 2019, but I think, this documentary still has a relevant point of view when we want to add quality to our life. But, how can decreasing something will increase other parts? Here, is what I learned from this famous documentary.

The premise of this documentary was simple. What would happen if someone had to give up everything he had in order to live a more straightforward – more minimalist life? And yes, throughout the film, the movie, the two-person, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus will show us how minimalist style can improve our quality of life.


And, I remembered, in the final trailer of this documentary, Ryan mentioned that minimalist is not just about throwing stuff but emphasized taking control of what he should do and deciding what he wanted to do. He also said, there is nothing wrong with consumption, what matter are we tend to consume in a compulsive way.

“You are not going to become more happier by consuming more,” – says Jesse Jacob, in this documentary.

Minimalism itself has been long practiced by Buddhist monks. Or in the Abrahamic religious tradition, they called it Zuhud, which means, a lifestyle that does not prioritize worldly things.

Overlook to this day situation, it was very hard to maintain the minimalist style of living. We are surrounded by the noise of marketing and brand new things. Each day, our compulsive way of buying things still hypnotized us to want more stuff. Yet, sometimes we did not sure whether we need those stuff or not. Becoming consumerism is what we are right now.

In this documentary, some of the footage shows how we break our limits to what we think will bring happiness. The footage of how people went crazy on Black Friday should have been a reminder that we forgot what was important.

Through this film, I learned about how living a minimalist life can improve the quality of our lives and strengthen our social relationships. This explanation makes more sense because several experts participated in providing their views, one of them is Jesse Jacob. Jacob expressed that happiness will not come if what we do is only consuming. Other than Jesse Jacob, Dan Harris the author of 10% happier said that we tend to seek something that in essence does not make us satisfied, and sometimes those things only make us more miserable.

Maybe indeed, all of it sounds cliché, but if we think again, more minimalist life is not only reducing things that are not really important but can give more value to things that are more useful.

Although it has been almost seven years since the date release of this documentary, I think this documentary is still relevant to me, and I think, people need to watch this. I rewatched it some time ago, and it got me thinking about what matters most to me. The value that I learned is that a minimalist way of living is like choosing and looking inside at things around us and using the most out of them.

This documentary seems to force us to see what really makes us happy. And clearly, the quantity, the size, and the figures don’t always have their roles on it. Minimalism asks us deeper into the quality, values, and simplicity of our lives, and that is why being minimalist still pertinent.

But another very important thing is we have to put this value into action in our daily activities. For me, the minimalist way of living is to start by not buying so many clothes. And you know, fast fashion is also not good for our environment, right? So, we can start easy by keeping what is important to us.

Is not easy of course, but let’s give it a try!

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016)

Sutradara: Matt D’Avella

Sinopsis: How might your life be better with less?

To conclude, here are some quotes about minimalism.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” -Socrates, 469 BCE.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo da Vinci.

“With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.” -Lope de Vega.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” -Thich Nhat Hanh.

Written by Harun Arrasyid

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