Living with Less


Are there things in your life you could never give up? Liz Waid and Adam Navis tell about the minimalist lifestyle. People try to live a better life with fewer things.

Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2  

And I’m Adam Navis. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

Courtney Carver lives in Utah, in the United States. In 2010, she was tired. She was trying to do too much. Then she had enough of being tired. She started a website called Be More with Less. On it, she wrote,

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“I worked too hard. I spent too much. And I slept too little. I spent much of my adult life tired, worried and sick. I always wanted more. I thought I needed more to be happy.”

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Carver decided to change her life. She began to live more simply. She sold many of her things. And she gave away other things. She became a minimalist. And she says she has never felt better.

Voice 1  

Carver is part of a group of minimalists in places all over the world. Minimalists try to live simple lives. They believe that things get in the way of what is important. Instead of having more things, they invest in relationships and experiences. Today’s Spotlight is on minimalism.

Voice 2  

Minimalism is the idea that people are happier living with fewer things. But it is not about giving away everything you own. And minimalism is not about seeing how little you can live with. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus write, teach, and speak about minimalism. They run the website theminimalists.com. They describe minimalism as a tool. It helps a person get rid of the things they do not need, so that they can concentrate on what is important. On their website they say,

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“There is nothing wrong with owning things. Today’s problem is that we give too much meaning to our things. We often forget our health. We forget our relationships. We forget to keep learning. Do you want to own a car or a house? Great! Do you want to raise a family and have a job? If these things are important to you, wonderful. Minimalism lets you choose these with greater care.”

Voice 1  

Minimalism means different things to different people. But many minimalists agree on a few general ideas. First, love what you do own. As part of her minimalism Courtney Carver started Project 333. She encourages people to choose only 33 pieces of clothing including clothes, jewelry and shoes. Then they choose what to wear from these 33 things for three months.

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Dave Bruno is another minimalist. He started the 100 thing challenge. He reduced everything he owned to just 100 things.

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Both of these projects ask people to think about what they own. If you have fewer things, you will love them more.

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The next idea of minimalism is to get rid of the things that do not bring joy. Marie Kondo is a Japanese writer who helps people organize their homes. In 2016, she wrote a book called Spark Joy. She says her method is easy. Pick up an object in your home. If it gives you joy, keep it. If it does not, get rid of it. She says if you do this, you will always be surrounded by things that you love.

Voice 1  

The third idea of minimalism is to spend time on relationships. Dan Erickson calls himself a moderate minimalist. He writes on the website hipdiggs.com. He says that when we live with less, we have more space for people. When we slow down our lives, we have time for relationships. When we watch less television or use the Internet less, we see what is around us.

Voice 2  

Minimalism looks different in different people. For example, many people choose to live in very small houses called tiny houses. They could pay for a large house. But they choose a small one. Some even build a house that is as small as a single room. A small house costs less money to build. It takes less time to clean. It costs less to heat and cool. This leaves more time and money for family and friends. However, a tiny house is good for one or two people. But it is difficult for a family to live in one.

Voice 1  

But a family can still be minimalist. Joshua Becker believes that minimalism is great for children. He writes on his website, becomingminimalist.com that,

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“Children with fewer things learn how to develop relationships with other children and adults. They learn how to talk to other people. And studies show that children with good friendships have a greater chance of success in school. They also have more success in social situations as adults.”

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Living with less can even be very exciting. Colin Wright is a writer who lives in a new place every four months. He can move from place to place because he has so little to move. And he lets his readers vote on where he should go next. He has travelled all over the world. He has been to Argentina, Iceland, New Zealand, India, and the Philippines.

Voice 1  

Minimalism may sound strange to people who are struggling to have enough food or a safe place to sleep. But people who practice minimalism say it is not just about the things people own. It is about people and relationships. It is about living the best life you can and choosing what is important. And minimalism is not a new idea. Many religions and ancient thinkers believe people should not worry too much about things. Buddhism encourages people to let go of the things they own. And Jesus once said,

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“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They do not work or make clothing. But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon with all his money was dressed like one of these flowers.”

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Living with less can change a person’s life. Courtney Carver spoke to Today.com. She explained,

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“I am more present and connected to my family than I was when I was working so hard. Now we all see that there is great opportunity for happiness in living with less. We live small so we can live big.”

Voice 1  

Do you think you would like to be a minimalist? Are there things you could never give up? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 2  

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Living with Less’.

Voice 1  

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Are there things in your life you could never give up? Your mobile phone? a piece of clothing?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Doan Thuc
said on March 20, 2017

I don’t choose to be a minimalism but I also a minimalism (lol). I don’t own hi-tech like my friends, even don’t television. What I’m own is what I need. My interests are bringing up my children, take care my family. I realize I really happy in my family.

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Hans Roh
said on March 20, 2017

Very interesting topic it is.

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ester
said on March 20, 2017

I’ve been thinking about it lately. I realized I have a lot of things I never use. Thanks for this teaching. I’ll put more effort to get rid of these things.

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kenhieuloilam
said on March 23, 2017

It is dawn and it is sunset. Nature with grass, flowers, trees and animals is beautiful and fresh. Countrysides are peaceful. Cities are peaceful. We wish peace in life. We have month years of childhood and month years of youth. We wish simple meals with our dear persons. We have our friends. We love peace. We build for peace together. We have peaceful month days, difficulty month days and suffering month days. We get true peace when we get rest in God.

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Dela
said on April 29, 2017

That is true, we often live surrounded by many things we do not need absolutely. People’s effort, the wish to own still more and more can deprive them of felicity, peace even the health eventually. I suppose becoming a minimalist may mean being happier, free just as getting a possibility to come more closely to people around us, more comprehend them.
Thanks Spotlight team for another excellent topic!
Greetings!