Simplicity in life implies leading a life that focuses on things that bring fulfillment and peace of mind. It is the ability to gather the courage to acknowledge that whatever brings contentment into one's life is the most important object that people need to attract into their lives. In the strict sense of the concept, it is the practice of leading a life that derives satisfaction from what one has, does, is or has been. When people simplify their lives, they pursue all that is invisible rather than concentrating on activities that make other people develop a glorifying attitude towards their character, especially on issues relating to material possessions.
From a personal perspective, the desire for material possessions is one of the major factors that make my simplicity to diminish. In a society that attaches a lot of value to material possessions, it has become tempting for me to pursue that which society considers most valuable in physical terms. More specifically, the glorification of wealth and consumer culture sometimes makes me feel that owning property and living a prosperous life are the best things one can have in life. By the same stroke, the society's emphasis on individualism erodes my personal desire to participate in community service and missionary work.
As noted earlier, simplification of life helps one to focus on issues that bring peace to the mind and soul. It focuses on one's invisible life rather than possessions. As such, simplifying my life would help me focus on the life experiences that cannot be erased once my life on earth is over. For instance, simplification of life can detach me from the material world and place my life in a setting where love, compassion, empathy thrive. By so doing, I believe that I would create a balance between the desire for wealth creation and pursuit of those values that reduce the suffering of people in the society. To this end, I am persuaded that I would give equal (if not more) focus on the lives of others as a way of making a positive difference in people's lives.
The Quakers research
To the Quakers, simplicity is an integral element that enables the faithful to counter hypocrisy amongst themselves in order to become better students of Christ. The Quakers believe that simplicity helps the faithful to overcome distractions that interfere with the daily quest for Devine presence in their lives; God has a special relationship with those individuals that humble themselves. For instance, Quakers discourage excessive wealth accumulation because the practice often interferes with the spiritual life. The doctrine of the Quakers further highlights that excessive accumulation of wealth may result in harm to other members of the society. Such outcome contradicts the calling of Jesus Christ and also the Christian mission of mitigating the suffering of others.
According to Smith, simplicity, as espoused by the Quakers, is critical in fostering contentment among the Christian faithful. Simplicity enables people to focus on issues that enrich their lives. For self-enrichment, we view life from a broader perspective as opposed to individualism which tends to lean towards the direction of our egos. Further, simplicity enables us to interrogate the background of issues and design solutions that not only satisfy personal aspirations but also leaves the lives of other fellow human beings more fulfilled than before. Overly, simplicity enables us to see beyond the ordinary measure of individual goals in life.
On a personal level, I value property in the form of house and car, and medical insurance, and good relations with family members. Perhaps, the treasure for the mentioned objects emanates from the fact that they play a significant part in creating a difference in people's lives. In my view, such possessions are important due to the position they occupy in sustaining ourselves on a daily basis. Also, I do not feel any pressure to abandon my valuables as a way of embracing simplicity. Rather, I feel that sometimes we need such possessions so as to be empowered with ways of living a simple life. However, I regard the mentioned possessions as a means of achieving personal fulfillment rather than an avenue of seeking glory or personal aggrandizement.
There is a need to simplify my life further for me to be in a position to fulfill my personal aspirations and those of fellow human beings. As noted in the previous paragraphs, simplicity brings happiness, contentment, and peace of the mind. It is my desire to be happy, have a peace of mind, and make a difference in people's lives. I am convinced that this is only possible in the absence of distractions from my daily communion with God.
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