definition of austerity

Austerity is understood to be any condition that supposes the lack of exaggeration, the presence of the very essence of a thing, a humble or slightly extravagant attitude or presentation.

Live without luxuries or extravagances, that sober and without ornaments

Normally the concept is associated with a life without luxuries, without eccentricities, or superfluous expenses, when it is applied precisely to the way in which people live, while when the term is applied to things or situations it will imply that they do not present ornaments and are characterized by sobriety.

Austerity can be both a characteristic of an individual's personality as well as a characteristic of an object or of a specific situation, as we just indicated.

Whenever we talk about austerity we will be referring to things, elements or situations in which simplicity, the lack of exaggeration and extravagance are present.

Austerity is one of the characteristics that a person can develop as part of their character or their way of facing life. In this sense, austerity can be defined as a way of facing situations in a natural way, without extravagances, luxury or exaggerations.

Austerity as a way of life

Many times, austerity has to do with the decision not to generate so many expenses by reducing consumption: in this way, one is not austere only by not spending money but by not generating too much wear and tear on the planet by consuming fewer elements and products. Here we can say that an austere lifestyle is carried out that does not need too many things and that can mean comfort or satisfaction even without luxuries or exaggerations.

That is to say, in this case we are facing a position or philosophy of life in which the priority is to live with what is needed, without more or less, and not because of a question of savings, but because of a life decision, for as already We said not to wear out the world, so mistreated by the way with the excess of consumption that is appreciated in these times.

In addition, austerity is also a characteristic or trait that can be found in elements, in situations, in forms of decoration.

For example, a gift is austere when it is a simple gift that does not have too many luxuries.

An apartment is austere when it does not have a very ornate decoration, but rather has the most basic elements, that is, the furniture that is needed and that is functional to domestic life. A dress is austere when it has nothing but the fabric of which it is made instead of ornaments and appliqués.

As you can see, then, many things can be austere if they represent simple, natural formats and without much extraneous detail.

Waste and abundance, the counter faces

The other sides of this concept are waste and abundance; Abundance is the large amount of something that exists while waste implies the excessive expenditure of money or resources in matters that are not really needed, that is why we speak of waste.

This discussion about waste, waste versus austerity always appears in everyday conversations and also in the mass media.

Of course, and as in all issues that mark various realities, there are voices for or against.

Austerity versus waste

There are people who certainly love to constantly buy material goods because they consider that this is the way to enjoy life well, that is, they have resources, so they spend them on what they want, whenever they want and in the amount what they like.

While on the other hand there are people who think that this type of behavior does nothing more than impoverish the soul of the person because it only sticks to the happiness of the material.

As we have explained many times in this space, extremes are not good, always, the best and ideal is to find the balance.

However, where austerity is essential to guarantee social welfare is in the public administration. A government that squanders everyone's resources will only contribute to the impoverishment of its population and, for example, will not be able to guarantee the satisfaction of basic needs: health, education, security, among the main ones.