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+megan auman is all over this topic right now. I'm loving the intellectual - not just reactive - side to this cultural discussion.

Would love to know what you think.
 
I've been reading and thinking a lot about the value and importance of stuff, which has lead me to various arguments against stuff, including the writing of minimalists like +Leo Babauta and +Joshua Fields Millburn

I find this minimalist rejection of stuff lacking, but more importantly I believe that this lifestyle favors a certain type of lifestyle and intelligence. I am a huge believer in Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, which argues that humans have intelligence along a number of frameworks (such as spatial, music, and bodily-kinesthetic) and not just those that have been traditionally tested and valued (like linguistics and mathematics).

I want to take Gardner's argument one step further and say that if we have intelligence along these multiple frameworks, then we also derive pleasure and fulfillment from these areas based on our own intelligence strengths.

In the MI framework, my husband doesn't rank high in the linguistics category. English was not his best subject in school, and he is not a big reader. My husband's intelligences lie more towards music, mathematics, and particularly bodily-kinesthetic. (Which Gardner defines as the ability to use one's body in skilled ways and the capacity to work skillfully with objects.) My husband's career choices and hobbies track with these intelligences, including his tendency towards physically demanding and skilled labor jobs and a garage full of tools and a driveway full of vehicles, all of which he works on on a regular basis.

Reading minimalists' accounts of eliminating stuff in favor of reading and writing and spending time with friends and family makes sense for someone who shows strong linguistic and personal intelligences. These are the areas where the person derives pleasure, and would naturally lead to a fulfilling life.

But for someone who derives fulfillment from bodily-kinesthetic pursuits, this would be a highly unsatisfying life. For these types of people (myself included), objects form a central part of the way we interact with and enjoy the world, and thus we would be completely unfulfilled without them.

My husband would be utterly miserable with a Kindle full of books and not much else.
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This is a brilliant analysis of why the minimalist approach is not for everyone!

While I am pretty happy with my kindle full of books, it doesn't FULLY satisfy me. I sometimes think about going minimalist, then think - what would I do with my hands? My tools, my materials? They help me create in a different and satisfying way.
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