Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Simplicity

Years ago I heard about a couple who were trying to become "minimalists". They pared down their dishes so that there was just one plate/cup/utensil per person. They even went so far as to type all of their journals in to the computer so that they could get rid of the physical books. ("type...into the computer"....what's the real word for that? lol) They eliminated all extra things in their life. One towel per person. They even got rid of much of their furniture. For them, it was a cleansing exercise.

They were probably looking for a more simple life. They probably wanted to eliminate extra distractions. But frankly, I think they eliminated some of the "spice" of life. For example, for me the handwriting in the personal journal is worth as much as what was actually written. By destroying that part of the record, they took away some of the personalization. And yes, I only need one bowl, but I enjoy having different colors and patterns from which to choose to eat from in the morning. There is something to be said for simplicity, but I wouldn't want a simple life if I have to give up creativity and variation.

I think living "simply" means much more than just getting rid of stuff. I think it has to do with lowering too idealistic of expectations. Yes, we only live this life once, but that doesn't mean that we have to own our most ideal sports car. We can buy a used vehicle, and it can provide as much use as an expensive one. We don't have to buy expensive brand name clothing to be happy. And maybe I'm lazy, but I like having enough clothes so that if I am behind on doing laundry I don't have to go naked. :P

When I read this topic, I immediately thought of the old Shaker hymn, "Simple Gifts". Perhaps simplicity is best put in to practice when it comes to our personalities!

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.


When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,


'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.


Tis the gift to be loving, tis the best gift of all
Like a quiet rain it blesses where it falls
And with it we will truly believe
Tis better to give than it is to receive
Now go and see what the other consortium members have to say about simplicity!


Grannymar said...

I would not like to have just one of everything, mind you I would survive if I had to. I am not a dedicated follower of fashion, I prefer to follow my own style. Many items of my clothes have been on the go since last century! I enjoyed saying that. :-)

Nene said...

Right now I AM paring down and going through closets throwing away and giving away stuff. I'm sure after I'm through, the normal person would not even be able to see that I had given anything away. :0+ I mentioned to Babs that I was cleaning out closets. He said, "I'm glad Mom, because even though I know ya'll are not that old yet, when you guys pass I don't know what we're going to do with all your stuff." I thought that was hilarious, which then made me want to go back through the stuff I'd already been through to see if I could get rid of more. :0)

Rummuser said...

The word you are looking for is key in. Simple? Mechanisation, instead of simplifying life, actually complicates it. I would be totally lost without my son to care for my computer related activities!

I try and be as simple as I can be in my life. But not to that extent that I stop living!

The Old Fossil said...

Delirious, it seems, as you rightly show, that when people TRY to simplify - as with the minimalists - they ultimately complicate life by forcing its configuration. Looking at the gorgeous, sturdy Shaker furniture gives a feeling of nothing forced.

Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary' said...

For me, simplicity would be more of a spiritual state than a physical one. We need stuff, obviously the less complicated the better. But we should not be attached to the stuff. Some preacher said lately that God is not against us having money, but he's against money having us. Things like status symbols and coming out on top of the rat race should not be important to us and if they are, our life is not simple.