Simplicity VI

The thin line between simplicity and eccentricity is easily crossed. Doubtless we have all discovered secrets of simplicity that others might deem eccentric. For example, I have discovered that certain brands of green tea will yield two cups per bag versus one. Composting kitchen scraps may seem a pointless fetish to some, while in Europe such small household efforts have yielded beneficial social, environmental, and economic results.

One writer I came across, who had grown up in the 1930’s U.S. economic depression, basked in her thriftiness — or miserliness — in getting a bargain at one store, driving to another for another sale, and so forth throughout her day, never totaling fuel and time into life’s equation.

For simplicity to succeed in one’s life there must be an ethical component. We must see consumption in relation to production. We must relate everything we do to everything others do for us or to us. And acknowledge the role of nature in this cycle, of which we are an inextricable part. By being conscious of the contrived human cycle of desire and consumption, we become aware of so many other aspects of society and culture. And in that process, we become better prepared to understand the deepest aspects of why we do what we do.