June 12      

Today's quotation:

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.

Edwin Way Teale

Today's Meditation:

I've been amazed over the last few years to find out how many of my wants truly were "needless," and how liberating it was to leave them behind me as I made my way through life.  They were complicating my life as I tried to find ways to fulfill these wants and then trying to figure out what to do with them once they were fulfilled.

If I need a car, for example, I need something to get me from place to place comfortably and reliably.  A $15,000 car will do that just as well as a $45,000 car, yet the latter car will keep me focused on making money for quite a while as I continue to make much higher payments and pay much higher insurance rates.  If I find work that's much more interesting to me but pays less, guess what?  I probably won't be able to take it because I'll be stuck making payments on the car and I won't be able to lose that income.

Some people would call this "settling," for they believe that anything less than the "best" is beneath them.  This isn't the case, though, as Edwin points out.  If we can examine our wants and figure out which are necessary and which truly aren't, then we can simplify almost every aspect of our lives by finding things that adequately fulfill our true needs in ways that allow us freedom to make choices without money being at the center of those decisions.  The only way to reduce labors-- and thus increase the time exploring our passions-- is to reduce our financial obligations.

The Spanish have a wonderful saying:  "No me compliques la vida."  Don't complicate my life.  Only by keeping our lives simple will we find adequate time and space to explore those things that are truly-- and timelessly-- important, such as our inner peace, our spirituality, and our goals and desires in life.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things are complicating your life now?

How much of what you do right now is done to fulfill obligations that you've made in the past?

How do our lives tend to become more complex?

For further thought:

Do you know the more I look into life, the more things it seems to me I can successfully lack-- and continue to grow happier.  How many kinds of food I do not need, or cooks to cook them, how much curious clothing or tailors to make it, how many books I have never read, and pictures that are not worthwhile!  The farther I run, the more I feel like casting aside all such impediments-- lest I fail to arrive at the far goal of my endeavor.

David Grayson

more thoughts and ideas on materialism



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