Form Over Function

I often focus on the function of something rather than the pretense of ‘what’s appropriate’. I simply can’t stand rationalizations where the reasoning is ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it.’ Usually, they are artificial constraints places on people to control them in some way. Either to establish some arbitrary pecking order or to quickly place someone into a established stereotype. Don’t wear white after labor day, dress for the job you want, a wedding is for the parents, etc…

For example, take mens dress shirts. Most men have worn shirts that come with two small buttons on the collar. Those actually come from english gentlemen who, while playing polo, needed a way for their collars to stay down. Why do we still need them?

Over the years, these traditions get passed down and eventually become the standard, with little regard to if they actually make sense. Growing up, I’ve always had this inner voice questioning every little thing if it didn’t make sense to me. As I’ve flowed more and more into minimalism, this conflict has been placed in the center of my life. Namely, can I justify everything in my life ( possessions, people, events, etc… ) by focusing on the value that it provides, as opposed to some culturally imposed guilt?