Monday, February 6, 2012

The key of simplicity

About ten years ago a friend of mine dropped a very interesting phrase into my spirit; "Life isn't easy but it should be simple. If it's not simple, then simplify it."  A few years after that I had a revelation about a bible verse that always gave me hope.  St. Paul said that God will never give you more than you can handle.  The revelation was, that if you can't handle it then God didn't give it to you.  Which means that either someone handed it off to you because they didn't want to deal with it or you took it from them out of sympathy or frustration.

No, life is not easy.  Children are born.  People die.  Jobs and money come and go.  House burn down.  Cars crash.  Friends move away.  There are floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes and every other form of natural disaster.  These are normal things that humanity has to deal with.  Definitely not easy.  However, dealing with these things can be simplified.

The age of technology has brought good and bad with it.  The good, for example, in the case of an impending weather related disaster, is to inform the people how to prepare, give evacuation information and provide updates from rescue and repair organizations.  Unfortunately the TV, radio and internet also throw in things to increase fear levels, broadcast incorrect information and generally make things worse.  When facing a disaster, keep it simple.  Prepare your home, make sure there is sufficient food, batteries, candles, communication devices.  If told to leave, pack necessities quickly and orderly.  Follow the prescribed exit routes.  DON'T PANIC!.  When it is over and the "all clear" is sounded, return in as orderly a fashion as you left.  Take stock in the condition of your own property.  If it requires assistance, follow the procedures to secure the resources needed.  If you, your family and their residences are sound then move on to offer your help to your neighbors or organizations who are supply aid.  Follow directions.  Put in a full day's work without complaint.  Don't take on other people's issues if they are capable of handling them themselves.

Probably one of the most impressive examples of simplicity under pressure is the Japanese after the earthquakes last  year.  One of the most telling photos was of school children within a week after the devastating trembler, walking to school...through rubble that included a large freighter (ship) that had washed miles inland.  The people knew that life had to continue after this disaster.  They immediately set to work clearing roads, finding shelter and getting people fed.  The lines at gas stations were long but people waited in them patiently, knowing that pushing, shoving, swearing and fighting was not going to make the situation any better or go any faster.

Simplicity isn't needed just in the case of a huge event.  It can be brought into your day-to-day living.  Accept your current lot in life.  That's not to say that you have to accept staying in your job, living in your house, or driving your car.  You can work towards something better or different but don't pile all manner of unnecessary stress, complications and negativity on it.  Go to work with a positive attitude.  Simply do your job.  Come home and seek out a new occupation, taking any set-backs in stride and moving forward.  Keep your home simple.  Do you need a wall full of chachkies collecting dust?  Does your bedroom require three dressers, a chest-on-chest and an armoire?  Does your fridge have to have French doors, an ice maker, AND a water tap on the door?  Worse, does your fridge need a built in smart screen?  Is there a reason for the 80" plasma, HD, flatscreen with Surroundsound in your living room?  Again, don't take on other people's issues.  Life is not a competition.  He who dies with the most toys wins...NOTHING!

Simplicity's place in wisdom is a large one.  Simplifying allows you a clearer view of the whole picture.  It gives you the ability to organize and prioritize.  It opens your mind and spirit of clutter that bogs you down and slows or even prevents progress.  It is one of the critical character traits of the inner child.  So look at your life and start simplifying.

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