Values and respect

So, last year a group of colleagues and I had some drinks which we do on a regular basis. I planned it and called it not my birthday celebration drinks. No. presents. for. Laura. They know I’m a minimalist.

They got gifts anyway! 

One of my colleagues watched the documentary Minimalism: A documentary about the important things with me during the cinema screening in Amsterdam, thanks to Jelle Derckx from Growthinkers. She in particular knew I was totally into this Minimalism thing. She knew that I don’t want stuff. She knew that I wouldn’t be pleased with a physical gift.

They handled me a huge, heavy present anyway, saying You talk about this minimalism whatever it is thing…What to give a minimalist? Well, this is a book about minimalism! Really, We are stunned. So many pages dedicated to less. The package was huge and heavy. Probably a book with lot’s of pictures. I thought of a book about minimalism design. Another useless coffee table book. I unpacked it. While doing that I already thought of how many months I have to take care of this humongous square until I can get rid of it.

The joke was on me! The book was 80 gram of plain printing paper! hahaha!!! I also got a real present which was a gift card for concerts.

The most important to me, however, was not that I got an appropriate gift for a minimalist. It was the fact that they’ve listened to me. Maybe, minimalism is not their thing. Maybe they don’t even get it at all. I cannot make them. In fact, I don’t want to. Why? The people around you don’t have to be like you, as long as you have the same values and respect the differences. They respect my odd fascination for minimalism. This birthday joke isn’t their way to make fun of me. Maybe a little, but not in a bad way. This is just funny. And I’m Ok with these jokes, because I know that my colleagues appreciate me as I am. It’s not the joke that shows otherwise. It would have been a real physical cluttering thing as a present.

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