Once we were pressured to acquire things and do more with our lives. Now, we’re being told to declutter our homes and diaries. What happened to just being ourselves?
What brings you joy? It is a question that is hard to avoid these days, as joy seems to be the new buzzword. It is on the cover of two new books, The Joy of No (#Jono) by Debbie Chapman, published at the end of last year, and The Joy of Missing Out, by the philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann, published earlier this month. It is also on Netflix, in the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, in which the decluttering guru and author tells us to discard any possessions that do not “spark joy”. Truly, a surfeit of joy!
But joy is not the only idea linking these three approaches: Chapman, Brinkmann and Kondo all tap into the same zeitgeisty wish to clean up our cluttered lives. For Kondo, it is about household clutter; for Chapman and Brinkmann, it is life clutter.