Simplicity, contentment, detachment, and happiness are close relatives. You have one and the others are not far behind. The simplicity we are talking about here refers to just having the basic things you need in life and a fundamental virtue we want to teach here. In fact, this is one reason we chose to name this website “Simple and Better Life.” We were even thinking “Simple is A Better Life.”
Anyway, let me ask you a few questions? Why do you need to have more than one phone, one watch, bag, perfume, TV set, car, house, a couple of pairs of jeans, two pairs of shoes, etc? You may say, “I can afford it,’ or ‘It’s convenient.” Good answer. But do you really need many? Or is it just the pleasure of having a lot?
When your life is simple, you are contented with what you have. You do not live in want. If you get what you want, that’s great but if you don’t, that’s just fine. You live in detachment. Life is simple. Life is happy. And that is the key. Living with only the things you need and be happy with what you have.
On the other side, there is want, jealousy, envy, strife and anger, close relatives too. You have one, the others will follow. The mother and father of all these – desire and greed. There is a Buddhist saying that goes something like, “To take away suffering, take away desire.” The world has enough to feed and shelter everyone on this planet if only there are no greedy people.
Simplicity – Why would you need more?
Greed is a very dangerous thing. It is vicious and it is never satisfied. Greed will make you live in want the rest of your life. Just take a look at many people today, mostly the rich, buying houses here and there and never really living in them. They buy cars where they don’t even get to ride in. “No contentment” is a trap that when you get caught in it, satisfaction will become elusive. And so is happiness. And the purpose of our stay in this world if to be happy!
A big house is harder to maintain. With one car, you only need to change just four wheels. Five cars need twenty wheels. And besides, you can only drive one car at a time.
Just remember that life is a continuing cycle of ups and downs, the higher you go up, the harder to stay on top and the harder the fall. Many of us had experienced that. When a problem comes and we solved it, here comes a new one. If you do not learn the lesson, that same problem will go back over and over again. The time may come when we might, but I hope not, lose many of the things we value. The more we lose the more painful it is.
Other than food and a decent shelter, you only need a couple of pairs of pants, a few underwear, a pair of shoes, some t-shirts, jacket and oh, a toothbrush to survive in relative comfort. Start on this premise. At least you know all you need to have in life can be squeezed in just one bag.
Have a Simple and Better Life.