The only rule: there are no rules

Elle On FacebookI already mentioned how Twitter and Facebook are full of people worth discussing minimo’s topics with, often with very interesting outcomes.

A while ago I was talking on Facebook about the laundromat just opened at the ground level of our building, which is so convenient for drying the laundry.
Dryers are not so common in Italy, and I had been eyeing one for a while (to avoid hanging the laundry AND doing the ironing); after trying the laundromat, I decided it was perfectly okay to have a dryer “in the cloud”, considering the costs of buying one and the fact that I would use it only 6 months or so during the year.

What this have to do with minimalism and rules? In the same Facebook thread, my friend Selene commented: “And what about the principles of minimo?”. To be honest, I had already thought about that: a dryer is not exactly the one home appliance you can’t go without. I started writing a long, articulated answer (maybe a bit snarky too:) ): this way I do the laundry only once a week, I’m saving money anyway, blah blah blah. Then I suddenly realized that all these things are fair and true, but what matters the most is: there is no such thing as “the principles of minimo”. Actually, I really don’t want them. Why? Because I’d like not to become a slave to some “minimalistic rules”, as I was (I am) to other principles, similar but opposite. The only possible rule is feeling good, be well (better), and simplify: and the laundry dried, fluffly, and ready to wear, together with the time I gain, does that for me. Even better when I get this very same result with less waste (of money, of electrical power); and if going to the laundromat means getting to chat with the neighbors, whom, after five years living here, I basically don’t know one from another.

In this article (still in Italian, sorry), talking about “The minimalist cleaning method”, I said I find the author a bit too radical about the dos and donts of a “true” minimalist. At the end of the same ebook, though, there is the following quote, which I found perfect to explain my take on the “rules” of minimalism:

“This is the beauty of minimalism. There is no wrong or right method, no list of things that you “must” give up to become a minimalist. Instead your life and possessions will be closely matched with who you are—and who you are may be totally different to anyone else you actually know!”

I don’t want any rule. The only ones making sense come from the alignment of who I am with how I live; what really matters, then, is not writing The 10 Commandments Of Minimalism (or following them), but trying to understand who we really are. A predefined set of rules is easier and makes us feel more secure, because it doesn’t require any soul searching from our part. And, let’s just say it, soul searching is not a piece of cake. But I’m convinced it can be done. It must be done (…this sounds suspiciously like a rule;) ). Anything else will come naturally from there.

On the same topic:

Minimal: Find Your Own Way – from Minimal Mac: “You can follow different masters, but at the end of the day you will have to follow your own. Take ideas and tips and incorporate them into your own Way. Learn from it, make it part of your life and pass it forward”

A minimalist style doesn’t make you a better person – “Simplicity” is a relative term, and perhaps inapt; try “convenience“, which has more useful connotations”

To Minimalist Computer Geeks (Like Me) – varying applications of “minimalistic computing”

Last but not least, just to confirm the idea that no system is downright valid: Secret Revealed: Minimalism Doesn’t Matter – “No, your eyes haven’t deceived you –minimalism doesn’t matter. It never has and never will. Like a hammer, or a mac book , or a car – minimalism is just a tool. And like the rest of those tools, what really matters is how you use them”.

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