One of the most challenging targets in life is to remain simple and lead a simple life. However, greed and pomposity do blind us many a time and we end up doing things that we would not like to do. The “keep it simple” rule is not that simple to follow.
If a person does not have many resources simplicity is thrust upon him. He has no option but to lead an austere life. It is only when he has the means and resources and still chooses to remain simple that shows character.
The benefits of simplicity are too obvious to need any explanation. However, some of the very prominent ones are detailed below.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of simplicity is that it is one of the means of a stress-free life. This is because most of the stress that we incur today arises from the rat race of becoming wealthier and outdoing each other in this dash for wealth. Becoming wealthy is not something despicable. However, when wealth becomes the only target of life, it has a very unhealthy influence on the mind. If a person is free of financial stress, his mind and heart are at peace.
Another benefit of simplicity is that it gives us time to think about the higher ideals of life. Simple living ensures that a person gets a fair amount of free time. If this time is used to contemplate what a person can do to contribute to the society and also realize a mission in life, one can imagine the intellectual growth of such a society.
Simplicity also gives us the time to think about the deprived and embark upon ways and means to fulfill their needs. It is the key to service and serving human beings. It teaches us that life is about thinking of others and helping them as far as possible. When the upper strata of a society decide to remain simple, it has a tremendous trickle down effect.
Simplicity affords us the time to build relationships and spend quality time with the human beings around us. We become more available and accessible to them. Friendship can only prosper if a friend has time to think about emotionally supporting those around him, especially his family.
A note of caution here seems in order. At times extremism in simplicity leads to asceticism and giving up the pleasures of life. This of course must be guarded against. Simplicity does not mean that one should forsake enjoyment and recreation and deny the body of its basic needs. Simplicity on the other hand means to enjoy whatever means God has blessed us with without at the same time being pre-occupied with a race for branded products and ostentation.