February 17

Today's quotation:

It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.

Amelia Barr

Today's Meditation:

We live in a complex world, it seems, and it's important that we learn how to deal in complexities if we're to survive and thrive in this world.  That seems to be what people want us to believe, anyway.  The truth of the matter is, though, that we live in a pretty simple world--but we've rejected simplicity in order to "improve" our lives and make things "better" for ourselves.  We've complicated our lives by buying more things to fill our house that's too big for us, by taking out many credit accounts in order to buy more things that we don't have the money for yet, by committing ourselves to many causes and activities and rejecting the possibility of having time to ourselves to rest and relax and recharge our energy levels.

There are artists who feel that the more complex the work, the deeper the meaning, but those artists rarely are at the forefront of their fields.  There are coaches who feel that their teams will be more effective at fooling the opposition if they put in many complex and difficult plays, but those teams rarely make it to the championship games.  Time after time we see that artists and athletes who focus on the simple fundamentals of their fields find success and fulfillment in what they do.

Life is simple, and only through the simple can we truly accomplish the marvelous.  Of course, we have to define marvelous--is it the new multimedia handheld device that allows us to download music or movies over a phone connection, or is it the self-assured young person who has grown up with an appreciation of life and of him or herself?  Is it the $50,000 car or is it the new home for a struggling family?

The Spanish have a wonderful saying:  "No me compliques la vida."  It means simply, don't complicate my life.  Keep things simple.  That doesn't mean that they avoid the complicated when it's necessary to face it, but that they realize that the many simple things in life truly do not need to be complicated, for they're marvelous just as they are; they need no change or improvement.

Questions to consider:

Why do we often feel that making something more complicated is "improving" it?  When was the last time you tasted plain vanilla or plain chocolate ice cream?  How was it?

How much do marketers affect our desire for the complex?  Why?

What are some of the simplest aspects of your life?  Do you like them as they are, or would you like to change them somehow?

For further thought:

There is a majesty in simplicity.

Alexander Pope

  
  

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