Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction. – Albert Einstein
Why are we encouraged to assume that bigger is always better? That complexity is more advanced than simplicity? We choose the larger grocery store because we are conditioned to believe that there will be more choice and lower prices. The big box store is appealing because we can make one stop to purchase many different items at a reasonable price–thus theoretically saving time and money.
But is this really the case? Our locally owned grocery store has more variety per square foot than the grandiose foreign-owned competitor. One can purchase perfectly fine gardening tools at a local hardware store and plants from a community farm stand rather than driving several extra miles to save a dollar or two.
I am thankful for any chance to enjoy a smaller, simpler daily existence. I am much happier supporting a local farmer or sharing plants, tools, and time with a neighbor. Life on a smaller scale means I am able to really see the ground on which I stand rather than always whizzing by it at 65 miles per hour. I can walk to the post office and say hello to folks on the way, meet new people or greet old friends while walking the dogs, and enjoy the view of the rolling hills and orchards from the top of the hill near our house.
My husband and I can spend time together doing the dishes after supper rather than sticking them in the dishwasher and plopping down on the sofa to watch TV. It is a small and simple thing–dishes, water, and the company of the one I love–but it is worth far more than any sitcom. It’s a prime example of companionship trumping convenience.
Think about it. What do we give up when we add needless layers of complexity to our lives? More stuff requires more money to acquire it, bigger space to store it, and more time to manage it. Even modern kitchen conveniences that were supposed to save us time have only freed our time so that we can clutter it with other things.
How can you make your life a bit simpler today? What one small thing can you celebrate right now? Can you spare a few minutes to connect with those you love? Small and simple. Try it. You just might like it.
Photo by Nanagyei used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!