There has been a return to the virtue of doing more with less. People view less striving for status and possessions as badges of enlightened happiness. This is good–it’s also what almost every legitimate philosophy and western/eastern spiritual movement has argued for thousands of years.
In good economic times however, it’s hard to cultivate this mindset. We learn lessons when we do not easily receive what we want.
This newfound sense of asceticism must be tied to something deeper in order to “do more.” We must consciously give up material goods for more time with our families and to make positive connections with others, for example. Otherwise, a minimalist existence is nothing more than a style that fuels pride.