Minimalism and just the idea of thinking differently seems totally unacceptable to a lot of folks.
Case in point: I sleep on a Japanese futon on the floor.
P.S. You can buy an authentic all-cotton high quality hand-crafted Japanese futon from Japan here, free shipping worldwide with a few country restrictions, or here if you want an all-cotton one made in the U.S. instead.
I’ve been told that a Japanese futon is not a “real bed”.
Never mind that Japanese people do this (some even to this day and it’s considered not only healthy but a novelty when you visit their hot spring spas), and in the past, before they invented headboards, mattresses, mattress toppers, box springs, and all the accessories that come with a bed, people slept on the floor on a mass of itchy, horrible straw and a cloth cover on top…..
…what people can’t seem to comprehend these days is that a “real bed” can be something other than what they’re used to seeing because they’re too used to be told what to do and what to think, so anything else is uncomfortable because there aren’t any rules.
Going a little philosophical here and to give a concrete example of what I am trying to describe:
“WHAT IS A BED TO YOU?”
Think about it before answering. What is a “bed” at its core when you think of a bed?
For me, a bed is simply a place to sleep.
A bed can mean any of the following in that case:
- A quote-on-quote “real” bed with a frame, mattress, headboard and all that crap that comes with it
- Mattress on the floor (or in my case, an all-cotton Japanese futon)
- 50 blankets stacked on top of each other a la the fairytale The Princess and the Pea
- A dirt floor with a cloth
- A wine crate with a cloth — this was my mother’s bed when she was a child
- A bunch of leaves on the ground or soft grass
Are you going to really ever going to ask someone who lives in the wild and sleeps on a dirt floor in a hut, or on soft grass in the countryside where their “real bed” is?
Or are you going to gasp in horror and tsk at them when they look at you like you’re an idiot and say:
Well that spot over there is quite comfortable because there are a lot of soft grasses we can pile up to create the bed.
Or maybe you’re going to go to a Japanese hot spring spa and stay at a ryokan (Japanese country inn), then raise a fuss when your Japanese hosts point you to a Japanese futon they’ve laid out on the floor to let you sleep and relax in and ask them where the “real bed” is?
What many define as a ‘bed’ is merely a construct of what has been given to them via books, television, influences from society, shopping, parents, family… everything in your environment to determine and tell you what is acceptable to pass for a ‘real bed’, but as I’ve pointed out above it is not necessarily the only way a bed can exist.
It’s the same with the concept of minimalism for me.
MINIMALISM IS SO VAGUE, IT BOTHERS PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BE TOLD WHAT TO BUY AND DO
A lot of people can’t imagine living without a “real bed”, a sofa, and all these things that we take for granted as being necessary and essential for living, so when they come across the idea of minimalism as a mindset, or a way to choose what you consider to be a priority in your life it bothers them.
It bothers them because while they can’t articulate WHY it bothers them exactly, it just doesn’t feel right to not sleep in a ‘real bed’ because a ‘real bed’ for them has to have a headboard and a frame.
It’s the same thing for me when I encounter the attitude of people who really hate the idea of minimalism and what I am proposing, but they can’t articulate why it bothers them.. only that it does and they have to rail against it.
The real cause of this anxiety and uncomfortable feeling people have with minimalism is that it is so vague that there are no rules, and people need to be told what to buy and what to do.
It gives a sense of order in life.
However if you decide to embrace a new idea or concept like minimalism, it has no rules — the rules are what you make, and that is the true reason why minimalism is unacceptable to so many.