The other day, I read a post saying that all things are junk, that everything is worthless. In the eternal sense, I agree with that; we really can’t take it with us. But while we’re still here on earth, I think this stance misses something important: gratitude. We can’t avoid having to own and use things, however few or simple. We are forced to deal in the physical realm, despite our being at our core spiritual beings. To despise physical things as meaningless puts us in conflict with reality and creates needless guilt. The first goals of minimalism, especially as it relates to the spiritual life, are gratitude and contentment. Yes, it’s also vital to keep from developing an unnatural clinging to things, or putting an undue value on them, but it is in these qualities of gratitude and contentment that the balance is found. This is real freedom.