Sunday, 17 December 2017

The minimalist way of dealing with criticism

When someone upsets or criticises you, what’s your usual reaction? Which coping mechanism do you use?

As I was leafing through the OM Yoga Magazine edition in which my article about my Jala Flow Yoga retreat in Sidmouth had been published, I was thrilled to find an article contribution by Leo Babauta in it. Leo Babauta is an American minimalist, who writes extensively about minimalism.

It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to share with you a fantastic, easily implementable way of how not to bother when someone is inconsiderate towards you or criticises you. Leo Babauta sets out this coping mechanism in his e-book, “The Little Book of Contentment”:

Leo argues that the problem never is the other person’s actions: instead the problem is your reaction, or rather your action based on that reaction. He contends that other people’s actions, such as rude behaviour or unfair criticism, are just an outside stimulus.

Other people’s actions are like a leaf falling outside, or a rock falling in front of us on a mountain path. Isn’t his analogy just brilliant? Ponder this: when a rock falls, we don’t get angry at the rock, we go around it to continue on our way!

Criticism is like a rock falling in front of you in the mountains.

I’m allowed to share this tip with you as Leo’s e-book is uncopyrighted. Accordingly, no permission is required to copy, reuse or quote the text of his book.

Leo Babauta suggests dealing with criticism by thinking of it as a rock falling in front of you in the mountains: go around it, carry on walking and forget about it. Simple.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Christmas 2017 donation to OneDollarGlasses

Dear blog readers, merry Christmas and very best wishes for 2018!

In the same minimalist vein as in previous years, I have once again donated to a charity instead of spending money on Christmas cards and gifts.

Over 150 million people would need a pair of glasses, but can not afford it.

I have chosen the OneDollarGlasses aid scheme. Since I suspect I will need glasses myself soon, it appeals to me a lot. This aid organisation is based in Erlangen in Germany (where, incidentally, I‘d lived for a few years before I moved to the UK in 2003).

Worldwide, more than 150 million people would need a pair of glasses, but can not afford it. They can not learn, can not work and can not provide for their families. OneDollarGlasses consist of a lightweight, flexible spring steel frame and prefab lenses and can be locally manufactured with simple bending machines. The material costs: approximately 1 US $ (source: OneDollarGlasses website).

If this charitable cause appeals to you too, you can donate to OneDollarGlasses here.

You can find the German translation of this blog entry here.