The Tale of the Treasure Hunters

The story begins somewhere around a rapid stream, with a group of treasure hunters in it. The stream roared and crashed to the banks, where there stood another group of not-treasure-hunters, reaching out their hands to help these treasure hunters.

Some hunters do not notice the helpers and continue to swim away with the current, risking their lives and believing that there is a pot of gold at the end of the stream waiting for them if they continue. Those who noticed the helpers? Some believed that the helpers are just illusions that are hindering them from finding treasure and so they won’t bother to be helped. Some, with full might, desired to be like those standing on the banks, happy and safe, so they swim against the current in an attempt to find a shallow ground for them to step out of the stream. They didn’t bother the helping hand. As a result, only a few made it, while the rest returned to the mercy of the stream. The rest took the helping hand and pulled themselves to safety.

A lot of us are like these treasure hunters, swimming in the streams of excessive consumerism, in pursuit of some “treasure”. Some people “go with the flow”, only to realize they’ll die financially, while some others are aware of its dangers, but struggle to get out of the stream because of reasons like “everyone else does it anyway” or “the stream flow is too powerful”. Those standing on the banks are minimalists. They see their friends drowning, and offers a helping hand.

There are those people who are unaware of the concept of ‘financial security’ and continued to swim forth, believing that the security they get only comes from material possessions. There are also those aware of ‘financial security’ but neglects it, believing that their finance is already very secure and did not bother to curb spending. We then have people who desires financial security and material minimalism, but they decided to boldly eliminate many things at once and live an ultra-frugal lifestyle without support, only to find most of themselves back to excessive consumerism after several months because of the uneasiness of letting all go at once.

The best and easiest way to approach minimalism is to do what the hunters who willingly accepted help did: baby steps, backed by support from minimalists. To get out, these hunters need to be aware of the hand, swim towards it, grab it and pull it, while those on the banks also pull them out. Similarly, we have to be aware of minimalists and their help (usually advises in the form of blog posts, speeches or even daily conversations), turn towards it, heed it and let these minimalists support us, allowing them to show us the way to financial security and, at the same time, a greater meaning to life than possessing material objects.

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