In recent years, different foreign versions of minimalism have popped up. You’ve probably heard a lot about Japanese minimalism with the rise of Marie Kondo, and Danish minimalism with the popularity of Hygge.
It goes to show there are so many versions of finding meaning and happiness in this world. With that in mind, you can try doing minimalism the Austrian way, and ethify your life.
Ethify your life through ethical living
The Ethify Yourself project was started in Austria, and it centers around upholding 9 values in your life. Those 9 values are justice, prudence, balance, self-determination, cooperation, goodness, fairness, satisfaction, and patience.
The project believes this gives your life more meaning, strengthens your community, and shows respect to the earth. It’s designed to help you practice ethical living.
They offer advice on how you can follow each of these principles in your life more.
The group defines justice as being committed to recognizing and addressing inequality and injustice in a peaceful manner. The exercises they offer for this value are pretty admirable.
Ethify recommends that you make it a practice to be aware of the disadvantages that others have, advocate for rights for minorities, and display civil courage. Sometimes we don’t think much about minority groups that have disadvantages.
Even less than sometimes, many of us maybe don’t think much about advocating for their rights either. It’s certainly arguable to say that exercising justice in our lives would bring a lot more meaning to it.
The group defines this as being respectful of the environment by enjoying things without harm and consuming only what is necessary. The example given for this value is leaving places as they were or nicer than before.
The project also suggests not producing as much trash, using fresh ingredients to cook, and limiting meat consumption. Most of you who are familiar with zero-waste probably already do these practices in your own life.
Ethify advocates what they call a “4 in 1 principle”. Most of us only have 16 hours of our day awake.
The goal they believe in is spending the same level of time and energy on four aspects of your life. Four hours towards your work, four hours towards caring for yourself, four hours towards culture/sport/education, and four hours towards shaping your environment.
Obviously in western culture, only having four hours of work is a luxury most people don’t have. Nonetheless, it’s ideal to seek some form of balance in your life for more happiness and meaning.
Spend significant time caring for yourself, reading and being physically active, and participating in your community.
This value is about setting goals and pursuing them. Ethify also recommends exploring your limits and acting with pleasure, but doing these things responsibly.
Practices they suggest include being healthy, being creative, and just having confidence in your own path in life. Additionally, not being afraid of making changes if there’s a good enough reason to do so.
Maintaining reliability and friendship with others is what this value represents. The main practice of this value is practicing sharing in decisions and taking care of people around you.
Ethify also encourages romantic couples to practice being tolerant and loving partners.
The Ethify value of goodness focuses on sharing. They encourage sharing of knowledge, experience, values, and ownership.
The group believes that when you give, you’re able to get what you want. It could be something as simple as a smile, or something more such as inviting someone to dinner.
The point is to exercise charity in your actions to reflect the value of goodness.
Ethify defines fairness as being honest, respectful, and appropriate in behavior. In this technological age of negativity and hostility towards one another. this is a value we could all strive for in our lives.
Interestingly, the examples encouraged here are perhaps not what you’d initially expect. Ethify instructs practicing fairness through asking questions, setting limits, and being fair.
They also go so far as to say that anything that was not produced fairly should be given up.
To live with satisfaction according to Ethify, is to take notice of little things in life that make you happy. Examples of exercising this value include enjoying nature, cooking things with your hands, consciously listening to the music you enjoy, or just getting in touch with a friend.
This would seem like the easiest value to live by and have more of in our lives.
The last value of patience is described as giving time to yourself, those you care about, and those in need. This can be done in a variety of ways according to Ethify.
You could spend a long period of time with someone, or when you’re sick, you could be patient in giving yourself time to rest.
What’s your version of ethical living?
All of these different values make you think about what your own values are, and how you can practice more ethical living in the world. I know for myself, kindness has always been an important thing for me.
I always try to treat people with kindness and respect even if I don’t receive the same in return. It seems most of what minimalism the Austrian way teaches us, is it’s important to live by something that we believe in. To live in a way that is respectful and charitable to everything and everyone around us.
Try doing some of these 9 values in your own life. Ethify your life and see how it impacts the joy and meaning you feel.
The makers of this value system didn’t create it to replace what people already believe. They only created Ethify to help encourage people to ethical living.
I hope this encouraged you today in your path to a more meaningful life.
Ethical living quotes
The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings. – Albert Schweitzer
Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life it is bad to damage and destroy life. – Albert Schweitzer