As the United States enters a new era in politics that looks more like a modern version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” I can’t imagine what my country looks like to outsiders. Pure chaos, perhaps? I’m still in disbelief that a reality television star and businessman with no political background is our new president. His penchant for opulent things is already on display with the new gold curtains behind him in the oval office. Regardless of how you feel about him, I’m all for giving someone a chance. I am really hoping he comes through on his promise of increasing American jobs and reducing government red tape. However, it feels as though he is focused on making more enemies than friends right now. All I can say is that if you pray, pray hard and pray long.
In other news, the second richest man in the world is the subject of a new HBO documentary called Becoming Warren Buffett. In this article, I found this quote from him quite fascinating.
“I buy everything I want in life,” Buffett said. “Would 10 homes make me more happy? Possessions possess you at a point. I don’t like a $100 meal as well as a hamburger from McDonald’s. That’s the way I’m put together, I don’t equate the amount I spend with the enjoyment I’m going to get from something.”
Possessions possess you. The cost of an item is not directly proportional to the enjoyment you receive from that item. That doesn’t sound like something you would expect coming from Warren Buffett. Instead of going to McDonald’s each morning, I would surmise he has a personal chef to create delicious healthy meals for him. Oprah has a chef, so why shouldn’t he? It’s because he doesn’t value that kind of service over what he can get for less than $4 each morning at the McD’s drive through window.
Warren Buffet is famous for living below his means. I’m curious to know if he is a minimalist at heart. Does he only purchase items that have meaning or value to him? I read that he enjoys his expensive private plane, but who wouldn’t? I’ve flown Spirit Airlines with some guys knees stuck in my lower back the entire ride. I suppose I could endure that for $150 versus a multi-million dollar plane.
Another interesting thing about Warren Buffett is that he co-founded the Giving Pledge with #1 rich man, Bill Gates. The Giving Pledge “is a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.” Sure, it sounds easy when you have billions to give away. Could you donate half of your bank account to charity this year? What exactly are your goals if you have jumped on the minimalist bandwagon? Is your goal to watch your bank account increase, to travel more, or maybe enjoy more time with family? Is there something more you can do with the benefits you reap from a new minimalist lifestyle? I am perfectly happy where I am in life, but there are so many people struggling to make it out there. There is so much more that I can do…that we can do with our time, money, and resources.