Sunday, March 27, 2011

How Simple is Simple?

This weekend I got my chops busted on Facebook for the following phrase:  "So often, simple is the very best answer.  Simple."

I had no great agenda behind my statement - it was actually prompted by the joy of a quiet Friday night, instead of the hectic one I'd had planned.

But a friend chose to see this as a political statement - or at least to respond to it that way.  He posted a link that suggested that choosing to live simply implies a willful ignorance of the inequities and injustices of the world.   (The actual specific politics of the link he posted can be tracked down on my Facebook page if you're really interested.  But that tangent is beside the point.)

Here's the thing.  The conscious pursuit of simplicity in one's life has nothing at all to do with ignoring all that is seriously screwed up in the world.

On the contrary.  The pursuit of simplicity - living with intentionality, with a focused discipline on reducing distractions - is surely the only way we can consider the situation of those less fortunate with any meaning, any consequence.

By choosing to live simply, I choose not to purchase, acquire, and consume in the manner that my culture seems to think I should.  By choosing to live simply I spend less time focused on the lifestyles of those who contribute [not much] to society and spend more time focused on the lives of those who bring Quality to mine.

I don't mean to preach.  I didn't mean to preach when I posted the simple statement on Facebook.  But neither do I like to be misunderstood on a matter that is a core belief.

Intentionality. Conscious existence.  Stillness.  These are the things that allow me to live meaningfully.



This little rant was written for Stream of Consciousness Sunday, which I stream-of-consciousnessed about last week. 



Emily@remodelingthislife said...

this post needs a like button.

katdish said...

Oh, you know...

Sometimes people have something on their heart or mind to a degree that everything thing they hear or read is either for or against their position on a particular issue. That's not your fault.

I'm all about the K.I.S.S. approach to life.

Gabriela - Living La Vida Normal said...

It's awful to be misunderstood, I love your definition of living simply. I agree, this post needs a like button.

(Here from SOC Sunday)

The Empress said...

the woods is full of 'em...

I know what you meant. And it's not closing your eyes to the world.

David Hughson said...

Simple doesn't mean easy. Those two words are often confused with each other and rarely mean the same thing.

Nevermind the haters Kirsten. They're everywhere.

all.things.fadra said...

Confession: I once wrote a post about the fabulous customer service McDonald's gives through social media. My "friend" commented on the post about how horrible McDonald's food is and how they put worms in their burgers. Ahem.

People miss the point usually because they don't want to hear the point. As we're preparing to move, we look around at all of our stuff and wonder how and why we got to this point. Who needs all of this stuff? We're decluttering and hope to bring a more simpler lifestyle into our next house.

Duane Scott said...

I like this post.

But then why do those plaques that just say "Simplify" annoy me?

I want to scream, "Life's not simple!"

But maybe it is more than i think.

Duane Scott said...

I like this post.

But then why do those plaques that just say "Simplify" annoy me?

I want to scream, "Life's not simple!"

But maybe it is more than i think.

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