“Simplicity is the key”. A phrase often used in an aesthetic sense, it conjures up images of a minimalist style whether in fashion or in interior decorating. A minimalist style is often viewed as elegant and classy, a desired end for those who are seeking liberation from the chaos of modern life. But what if I propose that simplicity is also a way of life? In fact, a life defined by simplicity is also more meaningful.
At no point in history have humans been more blessed with technology, which has changed the way we live and has become an indispensable part of our lives. But with more options available to us, life can also be hectic. We are constantly bombarded by information for which we cannot readily separate the wheat from the chaff. Many of us are also chained to our smart phones and tablets that have dramatically altered the way we interact with the world. Every hour and every minute, news feeds on our tablets and phones demand more attention, no matter how mundane they are. As our lives become more intertwined with technology, we lose sight of the simple things of life that cannot be replaced.
By the simple things, it is not about waking up to the latest Instagram photo or the latest Tweet. It is about waking up in the morning to a warm cup of coffee hearing the birds chirping outside your window. These little creatures remind us of nature’s little wonders and how lucky we are to be in a peaceful part of the world where we can wake up and not worry about meeting life’s basic necessities.
Simplicity is about reading good books instead of mean-spirited Tweets with no basis in logic or angry anonymous comments online. Good books form the basis of a culturally sophisticated society. They also help us make sense of the fallacies in human thinking.
It is also about having good face-to-face conversations with friends without misinterpreting words as is often the case when we rely on messaging or texting. No amount of technology can ever replace a good conversation with a friend.
It is about making connections with your neighbours and even the person next to you on the train without checking into Facebook during the long commute. Why do we feel it is hard to do something as simple as striking up a conversation with somebody even when we are more connected than ever?
Perhaps applying a simple approach to life would go a long way toward resolving the conflicts and misunderstandings that permeate the world today. If we could apply the same type of approach – a minimalist one – to life that we apply to our designs, we would all be just a little happier and more grateful for what have.