How Minimalism Can Help Lessen the Effects of Natural Disasters

By: Eric Bias, Sports Editor

I turned on the television on the morning of Sept. 12 and I was immediately shocked by the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s wrath on the state of Florida. Displayed on the screen was a myriad of images of destroyed homes and buildings that were torn to shambles. As the news’ cameras panned around the various cities affected by this natural disaster, I thought to myself, look how many things are in the streets and are underwater in the homes of those who were affected. Although there is nothing that we can do to defend ourselves against natural disasters, such as tornados and hurricanes, when they touch down we can get ourselves out of the path of destruction. When Florida officials warned residents of Florida to evacuate the state, hundreds of thousands of Floridians packed up their vehicles with their belongings and emmigrated to northern states, such as Georgia and Tennessee, to seek refuge with family or friends in their time of need. It is in times like this when I do a lot of thinking; I was able to assume the role of a philosopher because I reside in an area that was not in immediate danger. As I was thinking about the destruction that Hurricane Irma was imposing on the citizens of Florida, I wondered the ways in which the doctrine of minimalism would help those affected. My assumptions that minimalists would be better off in tragic times such as this seemed to be reasonable; after all, minimalists adhere to a doctrine that is centered on owning and consuming less. It makes sense to me… having less in a time where vacating your home is required would allow for a more timely departure to occur. With natural disasters, no matter which kind, time plays a very critical role. Minimalism would help both in decreasing the departure time and decreasing the amount of clean up that would be left after the storm has run its course.

_97706668_sintmaartenafp2              A bird’s-eye view of a town left to rubble; Saint Martin, pictured above, was hit by Hurricane Irma before it headed towards the United States.

As obscure as it may seem, I believe that if we as a society were to adopt the idea of minimalism and apply its tenets to our everyday lives, we would be better off. I know that this may be seen as a grandiose claim, but I feel that it is justified. Compulsory consumption has caused our society to become tainted. Minimalism, from my perspective, is a step in the right direction for the betterment of our society.

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