Simplicity

When I was younger I read different works by various authors or usually just the casual column from the weekly magazine, I always thought that the things I read were really complex and well thought out, that they were made by brilliant minds who wrote with skill; So I said, if I ever write in the future it would always be on a nice well thought out subject. I soon came to realize that the topics I read were actually based on really simple things, and that they were made complicated by the people who wrote them, just like how if a simple law is passed in parliament such as ‘the law to end poverty’ it may sound simple but it’s actually very complex, if we could solve that then we can solve anything. In fact I can say that nothing is simple in life, nothing at all. All throughout our lives we strive to make things as simple as possible, but in our quest to do so we do the complete opposite,thereby loosing a lot of efficiency in how we do things.

I’m not sure if this is true or not but I believe that the more conservative the society the less efficient it is; coming from an Indian background I can tell you we are highly conservative, we always stick to the old way of doing things and always follow the rules, this doesn’t help progress much. Since we refuse to change our habits, we usually resist any laws that change the way we do things, sometimes, our laws even regress back in time, such as can be seen in the recent law criminalizing homosexuality… that’s a different topic though. Getting back, yes, since we are so conservative we tend to follow the rules more, so if the people are willingly following some basic rules that gives the government the perfect opportunity to lay some more rules on them, saying that the new rules will make the system more efficient while in reality it’s doing the exact opposite. This is something policy makers should consider while drafting such laws. We have all heard of red-tapism, at least, I hope. It isn’t the best and we would do well to avoid it.

Simplicity has limits as well, everything can’t be to simple. If it were simple to get into Harvard then no one would go there, and if it were simple to fly a plane then no one would want to become a pilot. People crave the competition, they want to be tested, they want to push their limits and exceed themselves, therefore no simple task can ever help you become more than what you are. One must move past the simple and well-known way of life and move into the unknown to exceed himself or to fall, but even in failure he learns to pick himself up and push on, that is by far one of the greatest qualities we humans posses and is the reason so many of the rich and powerful have been able to accomplish what they have achieved.

In the end though, simplicity does prevail. What happens when you have become the best you can be?, become rich and successful? or reach the self actualization phase of Maslows hierarchy of needs, for those who have studied it. More often than not these rich and successful individuals crave the simpler things in life; Warren Buffet for example lives in a small modest house which doesn’t reflect the immensity of his wealth in the slightest. He lives so because it makes him happy. So in the end you can see that what people really want is happiness and this happiness comes from the more simple things. No amount of all night partying or high-octane beer filled private jet rides across the sky can bring you true happiness, while these things do give some amount of joy, it is evanescent, and usually followed by a hangover. A cold glass of water, a walk across the beach, a warm hug from a friend, these are the kinds of things that bring you true happiness, although they are simple they stay with you forever until the day you die.

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