We are all witnesses and the task of being a minimalist is no lowly role. We’re called to be witnesses, to attest to the fact that life is more beautiful when lived slowly, more abundant when lived mindfully and more satisfying when savored.
As a minimalist, we’re changing the world around us through the power of ideas both big and small. Leaders are rising through the ranks and heading the war against complacency, conformity and consumerism. To be minimalist is to stand bravely against the status quo.
In order to prepare ourselves to be leaders in the future world, we must become the type of people that embrace a holistic self. Well-rounded, strong and unwavering in our convictions. But soft, kind and compassionate enough to build bridges across the universe. We must boldly use our freedom to become virtuous citizens and graciously plant seeds of change throughout humanity.
25 Virtues for the Minimalist World-Changer:
Restraint. In an age of abundance, the question is no longer “can I have it?” but rather, “do I need it?” Learning to control the urge to consume is humanity’s most pressing problem.
Wonder. When did we lose that sense of AWE? That spine-tingling, hair-raising, bone-chilling sense that we’re in way over our heads. We need that sense of smallness to play it big.
Moderation. To most of life’s questions, the answer is neither this nor that, but somewhere in between.
Persistence. Nothing will come easy… the leaders in this brave new world must have the fortitude to keep going without external reward. They must be driven by something deep within.
Compassion. We must learn to feel each other’s pain and experience each other’s joy. We must blur the line between self and community.
Humility. Our humility grows out of a deep respect for others and an acknowledgement of the veil that keeps us from seeing clearly.
Courage. We have reached a new frontier, a make or break point in the future of humanity. And we bravely forge ahead without a road map.
Integrity. In the future, a man’s word and reputation will mean astronomically more than they do today. We’re about to be bombarded with noise and we need a way to filter.
Wisdom. Not just intelligence, we need wisdom. We need a deep understanding of the people, places and times we live among.
Enthusiasm. Without that twinkle in our eyes and that spark in our speech, we won’t inspire others to follow. People reason with their minds but they join movements with their hearts.Self-confidence. If you can’t believe in yourself, you can’t believe in others. If you can’t believe in others, you can’t inspire.
Creativity. The problems of our future aren’t traditional problems and they won’t require traditional solutions. Thinking outside the box is just the start… eventually, we have to destroy the box.
Forgiveness. Repeatedly, over and over again since the dawn of time, peace hinges on the ability of great men to forgive great offenses.
Faith. Many times, you’ll have to make a decision without proof… this is faith. Learn to trust your gut, your inner compass and that tiny voice inside your head. It’s not a perfect formula, but this is life.
Love. This is the king of all virtues; the mother of all gifts; the most powerful tool in your arsenal. There is no known cure when love goes viral.
Openness. Transparency is the way of the future. It’s about vulnerability and building trust with strangers. As global connections increase, this virtue will become the building block of all communities.
Simplicity. “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.” Henry Thoreau
Self-Discipline. You are what you repeatedly do. Forge habits that encourage growth and more sustainable living.
Dependability. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: attention is becoming a scarce resource. People will listen to those who are consistent, reliable and available… all the time.
Honesty. To give truth is the highest form of respect. In an effort to rebuild social capitol, we must start by speaking honestly, openly and without reservations.
Frugality. I’ve never seen a case of great wealth making someone into a better person. Wealth is a distraction. Meet your needs and then give the rest away… your mission awaits.
Awareness. Digital evolution is unfolding at an ever hastening speed. Future leaders must be alert and sensitive to the ebb and flow of modern life.
Responsibility. Minimalism, above all else, is a sign of maturity. It’s a decision to claim responsibility for the life you’ve been given and the people in your realm of influence.
Adaptability. Minimalism is about choosing less, it’s about making do with what we have and finding contentment in the here and now. It’s about taking what life hands you and making the best of it.
The editor of Ethical Living, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.