The trend of any social and cutural behavior has always emerged among a little community of like-minded people who are able to transform the rest of the society. These groups are commonly called early adopters. They represent a vanguard of the whole population. They seem extreme and do not compromise with their lifestyle and that’s actually why they are able to influence the rest of the population. Their motto may be simply summarized as: change the world or disappear.
We now see how those “radical followers” are able to transform different aspects of our world, the core of the main leverage of their action is based upon consumerism. Through their purchasing power, they force some companies to change their product orientation, therefore the way people consume. Organic, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free products have bloomed recently thanks to the intransigence of an active minority.
Early adopters give much more importance to their acts, such as purchasing. The rest of a population is not inclined toward a particular aim, so that’s the reason why zealous minorities can drastically impact the rest of the population. They are fully convinced of their rights, they feel in charge of a mission and may even have a proselytizing form of behavior.
What about minimalism?
Minimalism taps into an exasperation toward the whole consumerist system which is a source of inequalities and waste. Being a minimalist is directly related to our current challenges: how can we stick to the essentials? And, how can we save the planet ? How can we reduce the gap between the haves and the have nots? If you want to stay focused and free your mind, you need to say no to lots of things and these things can also be material. Being a minimalist enables one to clean one’s life of irrelevant garbage that we can no longer stand.
We may all agree that wealth means security. Being totally integrated into the current economic system (based on consumption and therefore production) gives good rewards that enable a fulfilled life. However, not everybody on this planet can afford to consume like an average citizen of a developed country: there is an urge for compensation. Some people (in developing countries) limit their needs because they cannot afford consuming. Some people think that’s not fair. Fairness is also a strong motivation for most vegans: they want to be fair toward animals. Being a minimalist is a choice (when it is actually a choice) which can be the result of a need for focus and wanting to be more aligned with another degree of morality. Because of this deep conscious motivation, people will be more enclined to influence a wider part of the population. It’s just a matter of a generation… the one belonging to our kids.