Reflections on Simple Living
In these trying times of Coronavirus, many will be forced to make changes in their lives, some temporary, some long term. As we take shelter of Krishna, and deepen our dependance on Him, the following blog gives some valuable guidance for internal and external simplicity:
Simple living primarily means living which does not agitate our minds. Simple living does not mean that everybody has to live without material conveniences or the latest gadgets.
To understand the point, we can consider the example of one’s capacity to carry weight. For Person A, the weight lifting capacity maybe 10kg's whereas for Person B it maybe 20kg's. Person B might be able to lift 15kg's easily, 20kg's with little difficulty, 25kg's with great difficulty and 30kg's without any success. Similarly, the idea of simple living will be different for different people. What level of responsibility and material prosperity will disproportionately complicate our life will vary from person to person.
One of the problems with modern society is that it imposes same definition of success on everyone. Everybody is evaluated on the basis of the zeroes on their salary cheques, the size of their house, the price tag on their clothes, and the number of cars they own. It is important to understand that different people are of different natures and if the same definition of success is imposed on everyone then people are unnecessarily brought under pressure which leads to severe problems of inferiority complex, depression, and anxiety. Therefore, simple living essentially means living in a way which does not agitate our mind, and which helps one pursue one’s goals in life at a level that does not cause us stress.
Ideally speaking, simple living will vary from person to person. The important thing to know is that simplicity is not defined in terms of more possessions or lack of possessions. It is defined in terms of internal priority. If we are internally burdened, then it means we need to externally simplify our way. This is the primary criteria by which we can understand the meaning of simple living.
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