This post was originally published on December 29, 2010, and was updated on March 29, 2020.
Here is a story that pretty well defines my take on what I perceive minimalism to be about. This is a testimonial sent out by Marla “Flylady” Cilley to all her “flybabies” several years ago.
“My elderly cousin died Wednesday night. I went to her funeral today. The church was packed. Everyone from teenagers to old people was grieving. The funeral singers couldn’t sing because of their grief. The preacher got choked up talking about her and almost couldn’t go on.
“Everyone was talking about her many kindnesses, how she helped so many people, touched so many lives–in spite of various infirmities and having so little in the way of financial resources. I kept remembering how I always felt so welcome when I visited her in the house she shared with her sister, and how much I was going to miss knowing that welcome and encouragement was always there.
“Then, her nephew got up to speak about her, and he mentioned that when they’d gone into her little bedroom, you could pack up every worldly possession she owned, and it would fit into the trunk of a normal size car… with space left over.
“And I thought–ahh, so that was part of her secret. She lavished her time on all of us, instead of investing it in things.
“ I’m wondering if it might be possible even for a packrat like me, to come to the end of my life with only enough possessions to fill the trunk of a car… but with a church and community packed with people whose lives I’ve touched.
Limping along, in Ohio”
This, to me, is the inspiration I draw upon when I stumble with minimalism. I have had and read this story over and over again for many years. How amazing, that this elderly lady could easily live with so few possessions, and yet had a circle of friends and community who adored her so much!
Now it’s your turn to tell me a story! Share your inspirational minimalism story!