During this financial crisis, I’ve heard a great deal of conversation about “making do with
less.” I suppose that many of us, at some point or another, have gotten caught up in the
game of consumerism: more clothes, a bigger house, the latest cell
phone…the list goes on forever. I’m not saying that consumption
is a bad thing, because it’s not. We live in a world of interdependence
and that includes buying and selling goods from one another. But,
perhaps there is a point, like when eating a fine meal, that you
discover you are already full and need to push back from the table and take a
“Making do with less”, however, doesn’t seem like much fun. Instead, I
would like to offer you a simple spiritual principle that has proven
itself worthy throughout every civilization in recorded history: The Virtues of Simplicity.
Simplicity is effortless. It exists in the pure wonder of watching snow
fall softly through a window in the calm of winter. It can be a quiet
afternoon chatting with a friend while sipping tea. Simplicity can be
joyful and enrich your life in profound ways. It’s beauty and humble
grace has been praised in the sacred texts of virtually
every major religion in the world.
Perhaps our tendencies towards over doing it have cost us in other ways
— to lose touch with miracle of life itself, our friends, our
families, our true needs. When we as human beings go too far out of
balance with ourselves, and with nature, there are natural laws that
seek to draw us back into harmony.
Wherever you are right now, I encourage you to take just a moment to
allow yourself to feel the simplicity of your being. To know that you are enough.
Once you feel this, allow yourself to scan your life and tune into
your needs. Do you really need everything you have been asking for? Do you
really even want to have it all? There is no right or wrong answer; you’re
entitled to feel whatever you feel. It is the question that is
Here’s a Prayer for Simplicity:
Help me to notice the falling of the snowflake
The flight of the birds
The light in a child’s eye
Help me to understand that my life is not made more meaningful by what I have,
Nor less by what I do not have.
Help me to see the abundance in my life and to know that I am enough.
Lead me to the quiet reverence that comes from the abiding spirit of simplicity
As one human being who walks this earth
Among countless others who have walked before me
And who will follow me when I am gone.
Lead me to the simple joy of acceptance,
of myself, of my life and your Divine Plan.
~Robert H. Coleman