“Simple is not easy. Purge relentlessly. Curate carefully.” – The Minimalists

I smiled as I opened the email from Joshua and Ryan, the title had offered an instant memory jolt.

Love People. Use Things.
The Opposite Never Works.

Not **my** Plymouth Caravelle. This photo is from a promotional brochure at the time. It was a great car, but my son taught me a greater lesson.Pleasant surprises pop up more and more in my life lately. This one took me back to the late ’80s when our son was in high school. I had just gotten a new car, a Plymouth Caravelle.

It was relatively plain except for one important accessory. It boasted the latest in cutting edge technology.

A phone.

The phone was mounted on a pedestal in front, with a special antenna wired to the rear window. It was powered by a mysterious black box, about the size of an overnight bag, secured in the trunk.

I thought it was great because with a phone in my car I had another place to work. Instead of being trapped in the office, or frustrated by the wasted time of travel, I could be behind the wheel and still do business!

I was proud, even vain. I remember lifting the receiver and pretending to close a business deal while waiting on a traffic light, hoping someone next to me would glance over and recognize this rising star!

One beautiful spring day, while washing my shiny blue Caravelle in the driveway, our son asked how I liked the new car. With no hesitation, I replied, “Bud, I love my car.”

I will always remember K.B.’s words, “No Dad – you love Mom, you just use the car for business!”

Here’s the guy who gave me the wisdom of loving people. His high school sweetheart by his side and now she’s his wife of twenty-two years – Mary Beth and K.B.

I’m not sure of my reply, or if I even had one. His words had said everything that afternoon. After lingering for a few minutes, he went inside to get ready for the prom that Saturday evening.

So when The Minimalists sent their message my face lit up with the memory. Our son had taught me the secret of a good life while Joshua and Ryan were still toddlers.

If you don’t know them, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus are two young men who stepped away from their consumer-driven lifestyles when they were still in their 30’s.

They now focus on what matters. People – not things. It was their minimalism that led me to announce, I Resolve – No More Stuff in 2016.

Have you ever found yourself loving things too much? Have you ever gotten things and people in the wrong order, like the message suggest? Is so, were you aware of your feelings then, or did it take some time for you to wake up?

As always, the conversation starts here.

“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran


You can meet Joshua and Ryan in this short video. Do you know them or other minimalist? What do you think of these ideas?