The Minimalists’ First Podcast; Hip Diggs’ Response


Last week, The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn, and Ryan Nicodemus, started a podcast. Today, I’ll do a short review of their first podcast, including a response to their mention of Hip Diggs, children, and minimalism.

History In The Making

The Minimalists’ first podcast was okay. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. They responded to many questions and comments from their followers from nearly every social media known to humankind. Some of their comments and suggestions were helpful and insightful.

The podcast was also chock full of self-promotion. They mentioned their books, their blog, their YouTube channel, their Pinterest site, their charity work, their forthcoming movie, Minimalism, and much more. I find it admirable that they refused Google Ads on their site, but I question whether their constant use of self-advertising is much different. I understand this is a common trait among bloggers, but it can get old.

The delivery of their first podcast was low-key. Although I enjoy some of Joshua and Ryan’s ideas and advice, the podcast did not keep my attention. I’m a college speech instructor and a former radio announcer and I noted the delivery lacked energy. In fact, I turned it off after the first ten minutes. It was only when a Hip Diggs’ follower told me that I was mentioned later in the show that I listened to it in its entirety.

And Now For A Comment From Hip Diggs…

First, I know that I operate a blog and Facebook fan page called Hip Diggs, but if one simply takes the time to visit my about page, they would know that my name is actually, Dan Erickson. I’ve got to admit, Hip Diggs would be a pretty cool personal name, but here’s what it really means in regard to my blog:

Hip: Beyond all trends and conventional coolness.

Diggs: A home, place of residence, or place of business.

I appreciate that The Minimalists chose to mention me on their first podcast, but as my online mentor, Michael Hyatt, recommends, we should always clear up information and feedback from others about ourselves that might miss the mark. So here it goes…

Here’s What The Minimalists Said…

We posted an essay on Facebook. That essay was Minimalist Family: 12 Useful links. This gentlemen, his name is Hip Diggs, commented:

“I agree, but my 10-year-old daughter drives me crazy with her clutter.”

So what Mr. Diggs here is saying, is that, yes, you can be a minimalist family, but my daughter prevents me from being truly a minimalist. The only thing I would say, is tell that to Leo Babauta

He has six kids, and he’s sort of the ultimate minimalist. He puts Ryan and myself to shame when it comes to living a minimalist lifestyle. 

The quote that came to mind was from Epictetus:

“When you call your child, be prepared that she may not respond to you, or if she does, she might not do what you want her to do. Under these circumstances, it doesn’t help your child for you to become agitated. It should not be in her power to cause you any disturbance.”

Hip Diggs Response To The Minimalists…

  1. Please research a person’s name before quoting them: You guys actually list me as one of your favorite websites on your blog. I appreciate that and have returned the favor. However, if you’ve found value in my blog, you might think you’d at least know my name. I hope you’ll keep me as one of your favorite websites after reading this post. Oh, that’s right, you’ve never really read Hip Diggs.
  2. My comment on your Facebook post was meant to be humorous: Sometimes it feels like minimalists are too serious to perceive intended humor. I did note that you got a chuckle out of my comment in your podcast. That’s good. You’re welcome. But then you took it a step further.
  3. Please don’t project your words as mine: “So what Mr. Diggs here is saying, is that, yes, you can be a minimalist family, but my daughter prevents me from being truly a minimalist.” That is not what I’m saying. I’m saying my daughter is 10 years old and does not yet embrace minimalism. As for me being a minimalist, I don’t take anything to extremes, but I do practice minimalist strategies and I do make a point to live simply. That’s good enough for me.
  4. I already know Leo Babauta’s story: Again, if you’d ever taken a few minutes to read my blog, you’d see that I have plenty of references and links to Zen Habits. So, of course, I know the story of his six kids. However, I am not Leo. I would prefer to allow my daughter the freedom to make her own choices and to learn from her own experiences and mistakes. I will not force minimalism or any other philosophy or religion upon her. I will only guide her in being an honest and good human being.
  5. People without children should not criticize people with children: I loved the Epictetus quote. However, neither Joshua nor Ryan have children. In fact, Epictetus had no children of his own. I challenge you to find one parent who has never been disturbed by any of their children’s actions. Good luck with that. When you’re a single parent with a full-time job and your own child who’s not ready in time in the morning, see if you get disturbed. Then you can lecture me about how to respond to children.

The Last Word

I like The Minimalists. I think they’re promoting a good cause. I believe in living with less because I’m concerned with the Earth’s environment and our natural resources. I believe in simplicity because it leads to better health and emotional contentment. But I would urge The Minimalists to be a bit more careful in their comments about others. Keep up the good work and peace to you, Joshua and Ryan.

By the way, I lived in a 20-foot trailer in the middle of an apple orchard for many years, owning about 100 items, long before minimalism became a trend, and long before Joshua and Ryan had even graduated high school. Just saying…

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James Ewen
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