I recently read Parmesh Shahani’s (Editor-at-Large, Verve Magazine) latest column in Verve Magazine’s April 2012 issue. He speaks about Kenya Hara’s (Japanese creative director of global brand Muji, writer, professor) recent visit to India and his talk at the Godrej India Culture Lab.

“Empty does not mean simple…. Empty is about the possibility of being filled. It is about alternatives, about potentiality.”

I think in any consumerist culture, you tend to fill voids, spaces and minds with a lot of junk. Particularly in a socially-networked world, you are not only filling your mind with things that interest you, but also things that appear to happen to and interest everyone else you know. In much the way that if your walls are not free to host that work of art you may find along the way, or your home is cluttered with so much stuff that you can barely find your way to the door, our minds tend to be filled – all the time. From the moment we wake to right before we sleep, we are unable to declutter our minds. If there is no space to think, then how will we ever become creators or visionaries?

Empty spaces and empty minds are not valued in developing cultures – because there is a greed to own, consume, buy, fill – to prove that one has arrived. That one exists. It may very well be true that one exists when there is nothing to prove or display. The very void that scares us, gives us the chance to grow. It is about time we distanced ourselves from consuming, and gave our minds a chance to breathe.