08 November 2015

Can we Live Simply Ever After?

When you tear down everything that makes life a burden, when you strip away everything that complicates life and sucks the joy out of it – there’s not ‘much’ left. Much from the perspective of: you can go without many things. Many things in our world currently make our life ‘fuller’ but not necessarily more ‘fulfilled’ – BIG difference. Have a look at what we have made ‘life’ to be – human life is super-complicated – it is true, we’ve made a terrific mess.

In the past 7 years, I’ve set out to discover what a person needs to be ‘happy’ – happy from the perspective of ‘not being in wanting’, where you have everything you need and there is nothing you are missing out on – your life is complete. Turns out – there’s not that much a person needs to have to be fulfilled, really. The more you remove the clutter, the clearer you see your relationship with yourself – which is the key to your own happiness.

If we had a blank slate – it would be easy to provide everyone with that which is needed, because it really is rather simplistic. The challenge is not in seeing what needs to be achieved – the challenge lies within creating the solution from where we are now. How to move from complexity to simplicity? Are we ready to live in simplicity, to simply live? Are we ready to let go of the clutter that we’ve given so much value to?

Have you ever watched those survival type TV shows where people have to survive on the bare minimum in the wild? Most of them will come out of such experiences with a new perspective on what’s really important in life and how most of the stuff we do and participate in, really doesn’t add value or support life /living in any way. And yet – how many of them actually follow through on implementing these fresh perspectives in the form of huge life changes? I daresay very few. Most of them will revert back to old habits, because everything in and of ‘human civilization’ is pushing each one to conform to the status quo. It seems to be the same with world change – everyone actually knows what does and doesn’t make us happy and fulfilled, and yet – there seems to be this fear of missing out and losing out if we were to change the status quo – because we’re all apparently so happy with how things are today. To be honest, I’m not sure what humanity has left to lose, so much of what could make us ‘great’ as a species – honor, dignity, care, compassion – seems to have been lost a long time ago. We cannot look at the state of the world today and make claim to any of these qualities.

And yet, I have no doubt that we could, that we can, that the potential exists – for us to be that species – that species that lives in harmony with itself and its environment, that species that knows what is truly important and doesn’t participate in things that will only create harm, tension and discord. It will require us to change our definition of ‘happiness’ – and to realize that living simply doesn’t mean living in poverty, or that living *with* riches means to live a rich life. It will require us to realize that letting go is not the same as losing out...

So, humanity – are you ready to live simply ever after?

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