You know I subscribe to the blog Becoming Minimalist. Right now, it's kind of a what if for me. What if I did make some significant changes? Do I want to? Is the outcome greater than what I'm giving up? Am I willing to change the way I think? And am I willing to become a different person if I take Road B rather than stay on Road A? I love the idea of being a minimalist. After all, I've purged a couple thousand things in less than a year and I love the feeling of owning less, moving less, dusting less, laundering less. And I continue down that path. But I'm not going to kid myself and say I'm a minimalist. I own way too much creature comfort to make that claim.
However, I read an article at Becoming Minimalist about Tipping Points. The author talked about the vastness of society. He has a huge readership yet his readership is a tiny single digit percentage of society. A mere spit in the wind of doctrines and teachings and thoughts. He cited Malcom Gladwell's The Tipping Point which summarized says small things do make a big difference. Joshua Becker (Becoming Minimalist) wonders if his focus needs to be on a smaller scale...his circle of influence...the people who know and interact with him. And when circles begin overlapping -- maybe the small things, the one person at a time making one or two decisions that change their lives and help others to see that they can too, maybe -- that becomes a world changer.
I can't help but resonate with this thinking. Because that is kind of the bottom line. We are all shaped by thoughts and opinions and desires of others when we are young, and then we are tested in the school of the BIG POND of life and are forced to sort and grasp and purge those thoughts, feelings and opinions and use those and the tools we find in the pond to become who we choose to become. Because we do have a choice. Most of us. Even if we've been oppressed, victimized, hurt, abused, belittled, discarded, unloved...we have a choice to not let that conquer us or destroy us. We have a choice to get off the out-of-control-Ferris-Wheel-of-dysfunction even if it's going to hurt when we hit the concrete.
When we get patched up, we become sharers of what we know to be true. We can give testimony, personal experience, hard-won wisdom gained, and we can share it with others on our way. Think of the people you know who have made huge life changes. The alcoholic who stops drinking and can spot someone else who is struggling and offers hope to that person. Or the person who experiences a miraculous healing. That story just bubbles out from a place of gratitude. Leaving behind a glimmering wave of hope for those who have possibly given up on their own miracle. The liar who has been forgiven who refuses to ever lie again becomes an expert on the benefit of trust and speaking truth. The woman who bitterly hated someone for years and finally forgave changes outwardly, her whole countenance softens and does that ever have an impact on her circles. Jesus said that one who is forgiven much, loves much. And He also blasted the religious teachers for loading people down with burdensome laws to follow to the letter. When we experience something (sometimes tiny) that changes us, we can't help but radiate that change. And those tiny personal choices do shape our world. One tiny step at a time.
Will I ever become a minimalist? Will I ever become totally healthy? Will I make a positive difference in the lives of people around me? I don't know if the answers to those questions are important. To continue towards those goals, to strive to choose life, health, wellness, kindness, hope, love and joy, self-respect, forgiveness ....I'm pretty sure those things are right answers to any question.