Ethics Applied To Minimalism: Why I Turned Down Money

If we claim to be minimalists, there are certain ethical guidelines we should follow. I’ve never been one for setting rules for minimalism, but some basic ethics may be in order from time to time. Recently, I turned down $100 to follow my own ethics.

I frequently get email requests from people and organizations who want to write an article for Hip Diggs. Recently, I was offered $100 to publish an article for someone else. I’ve got to admit that I was tempted. The company that sent the email had done their research. They addressed me by name. They knew the topic of Hip Diggs. The article would be relevant to simple living. It sounded pretty good.

But There Was One Catch…

The article will include links to one of our clients.

Okay, maybe the client was a manufacturer of solar panels? I’d go for that. So I emailed the company to request more information about the said client. Turns out that the link would be for the online gaming industry. I concluded that meant the gambling industry and politely declined the offer.

Ethics And Minimalism

I’m not a perfect little do-gooder, but I do have some basic ethical principles. If I want to gamble on my own time that’s one thing. But if I take money to promote gambling on a site about simple living, that’s another thing.

Hip Diggs promotes living with less. This includes spending your money wisely. Personally, I don’t believe gambling is wise. I do believe in taking calculated risks, but gambling is calculated against you. It amounts to throwing your money away. How can I claim to be a minimalist if I include links to sites that offer gambling?

Where Should Minimalists Draw The Line?

As a blogger, I like to help others. I want to offer solid advice for simple living. But I’d also like to begin to see some financial return from Hip Diggs. In the future, I’m considering adding everything from games to courses to an online store. But it gets complicated. The ethics of minimalism suggest that I only offer certain products.

Here’s the bottom line: If a product helps you to live a simpler life, I feel alright about offering it from my blog. But my ethics tell me that I should stay away from trying to sell anything solely for the purpose of making money. I believe that would be a contradiction to everything Hip Diggs is about.

Do You Have Your Own Guidelines For Simple Living?

I hope you’ll take a little time to set your own rules about simple living. Consider your purchases. Are they promoting your lifestyle? Consider your activities. Are they promoting a simple life? If we claim to live a certain way, we must do our best to let our actions speak in volumes.

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James Ewen
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