Carol Forsloff“ The true Indian sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for difficult or dangerous service and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor. “ ~Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux – Charles Alexander Eastman
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~Henry David Thoreauo is rich? He who rejoices in his portion. “ ~The Talmud
“Live simply that others might simply live.” ~Elizabeth Seaton
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
Living a spirit-filled, simple life provides a special strength and protection, as the Amish so clearly demonstrated in their reaction to the horrible tragedy of young children being murdered in a schoolhouse in their community a few years ago. Their responses of community support and forgiveness can be contrasted with those found in our fast-paced society where violence is the order of the day and where school riots have become commonplace. Toxic behaviors, including greed and materialism, are background noises that interfere with our appreciation of simple things.
Simplicity isn’t an obligation or burden, although it may soon be required in order to get through difficult economic times.We will likely need to simplify our lives if we are to survive and maintain any semblance of humanity.Does materialism and greed satisfy or can the joy of living be found in living simply? The Amish of Pennsylvania do it. And their behavior gained world attention for how that simplicity helps in forgiveness and survival of trauma. These humble folk with their loving ways managed to forgive and go on after an outsider murdered some of their children before being stopped by police. Contrast that with how modern America manages crises. Seeking war in the guise of security when the aim is to defend a lifestyle of power and consumption is far different than the simple ways of handling terror among the Amish. What can we learn from these people in order to bring people together to live compatibly and in peace? Perhaps mutual survival depends upon rethinking how we deal with difficulties that could lead to widespread destruction.
The complex lifestyle that requires all of us to live at maximum decibels detracts from the simplicity of enjoying contemplation and interludes that quiet the mind and open the heart.We need to examine whether our modern lifestyle is actually taking the best of human experience and substituting it with fast-food-like mind fixes that have no lasting value. How we react to everything going on around us requires us to make choices so that at some time a personal catastrophic event such as a divorce or death or the loss of our home will create an awakening that tells us that simplicity makes sense.But we don’t need to wait for the worst to happen when living simply might prevent it.