The Power of Simplicity | The BridgeMaker

The Power of Simplicity

By on Nov 07, 2013

power of simplicity

Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires. – Lao Tzu

Our lives are filled with complexities. Some of these we create and some complexities we accept and take on as part of our story.

The world has never been an easy place with all its politics and deceptions. But not all of our interactions are harmful, sometimes we use complexities to protect others and spare feelings; but complexities, even the neutral ones, can be heavy and tiring.

Hiding behind the Veneer

We can also use complexities as modes of defense. We use our words and our things as barriers between us, limiting our interactions to only those that are favorable.

And as the barriers between us and the rest of the world are reinforced, we become divided into the self we project to others and the real self behind our accumulations. While our accumulations may convince others that the projection is real, we will always know that it’s a veneer that constantly needs to be protected and built up—with more things to hide behind.

Our accumulations can clutter our lives. They can weigh on our spirit and distract us from the truth.

Simplicity can free us from the weight of our unnecessary accumulations. Simplicity can free us from having to keep up with the projection.

But simplicity can be a scary thing, too.


Simplicity Is About Being Bold

When you’re used to having the wall between you and the world, tearing it down can seem daunting. We can get so used to things being a certain way that we would prefer familiar chaos over an unfamiliar peace.

Weaning yourself of your excess might be a difficult process. Sometimes we attach our identities to the things we have accumulated through the years. We hoard things, but we also hoard fears and self-doubt with the things we hold onto. It’s not just the teddy bear from grade school that we can’t bring ourselves to throw away, despite how broken and torn up it is.

We hold on to memories that have been lost. We hold on to past accomplishments and define ourselves by them, stunting our growth and making us fearful of new challenges. We hold on to the parts of us that might no longer fit in with who we are in the present.

We reject the simplicity of accepting ourselves in the present in favor of the past, even when the past may no longer hold our truth in the now.

Simplicity is not weakness.

Simplicity is about being bold.

It is about knowing that you are enough and that you have exactly what you need. Simplicity is about acceptance.

Simplicity is about finding your truth and letting it guide you past the wall that’s keeping you from being truly free.

Andrew Cain is a native of Gainesville, Florida and received a bachelor’s in Linguistics from the University of Florida. He served 32 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines where he currently resides as an itinerant freelance writer and local networking coordinator for various international volunteer organizations.

  • Hi Andrew,

    Letting go the veneer feels painful but freeing at the same time. The post resonates with me. Here in India I have exposed myself to many complex, worn out, tired aspects of my personality. Letting go these dead weights for a more simple experience has been difficult.

    Difficult on an ego level. The whole part of me knows better. The whole and complete part of me knows simple is best because simple is the most powerful stance you can take in life.

    I challenge myself to push a bit beyond each day. Not to reach a set goal but to erode away that aspect of my nature which needs pruning; the complex.

    The more I prune the more my ego stings and the more simple, complete and wholesome I become. The process never really ends, just a gradual peeling. moment by moment, day by day.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration.


    • Andrew Cain

      Thank you for your thoughtful and personal response, Ryan. I find it interesting that your insights are born of travel and living abroad. When we force ourselves to interact in a new environment, one completely different from where our personality and character developed, we come face to face with those stray branches of ourselves that we can easily prune.

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