Q : Do you think [financial problems are] essential for people to finally realize the consequences of [materialism]?
Leo Babauta : I think financial problems highlight the underlying problems of excessive consumerism, so yes, that does tend to help. But it’s not necessary — even in good times, people spend too much and then spend too much time working, to end up with a bunch of worthless possessions (and often too much fat as a result of consumerism). If they can see, by the shining example of minimalists, that by letting go of all of that you can work less, be happier, have time for what’s important, be healthier, reduce your impact on the environment … maybe they’ll join us. I definitely think that leading by example, and starting a community-wide discussion on these important issues, is the way to start this movement.