Helen Lee Schifter, the former arbitrage trader and former editor of Conde Nast and former editor for Hearst is not opposed to the finer things in life. However, she thinks people should find a balance. She attended private schools at Phillips Exeter Academy and Amherst College, often writes about Japanese Tea Ceremonies and the benefits of meditation. Well, in Schifter’s point of view, the hard and fast debate between Minimalistic vs Materialistic must have a line somewhere in the middle.
Does Minimalism Imply Scarcity?
Absolutely not, says Schifter and many other advocates. Rather it is more of prioritizing.
Early advocates of minimalism might have been advocates of living a life of minimal pleasures in order to please God, modern advocates see minimalism as being a lifestyle where you consciously be aware of what we allow into our life as bringing “stuff” into your life requires a certain amount of attention to maintaining it.
At the Opposite End of the Spectrum is Materialism
Although materialism has always been with us, many experts attribute making a virtue of materialism to Calvinism.
Calvinism viewed wealth as the natural outcome of hard work and faith. To become wealthy through hard work was seen as a sign from God that people were on the right path.
Of course, even early Calvinists could not imagine the age of social media where influencers became near millionaires for one video that went viral.
Where is the Balance?
The point is that early suggestion by the Calvinists that wealth was a sign of God’s blessings has slowly led to a society where everything goes.
CNN reported that Paul Pierce, the legendary retired Boston Celtics basketball player sold his 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 16,000 square foot house, (nearly 6.5 times the size of the average new home) complete with basketball court, infinity pool, and a bowling alley for nearly $10 million dollars. Who needs a house that big, nor the $100 million dollar penthouse home Donald Trump used to live in Manhattan. Helen Lee Schifter argues that developing a mindful attitude enables people to learn to balance wealth with a minimalist attitude.