Tuesday, May, 30,2023

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The Simple Life

Wise men and women have been advocating the virtues of a simple, frugal and spartan lifestyle for generations. Today, however, perhaps more than ever before, it is absolutely essential to embrace this simplicity. To live in a manner that is clean, elementary, and uncomplicated, so that both the individual and the planet, have a better chance at happiness and healing. But while it is easy to preach & dispense this wise-sounding advice, how does one really go about implementing this ‘simplistic’ lifestyle? What are the specific changes one needs to make, and can make without much difficulty? Here is a host of effective, efficient interventions that will lead to tangible and evident results.

The more material possessions we have, the more stress we give ourselves. We keep wondering if all our belongings are safe and secure. We have more things to maintain. We need to spend more of our parents or our own money. All this leads to an increase in our stress levels. The lesser possessions we gather, the less we will have to worry, and our stress levels will reduce significantly. So ditch the need for protective items such as bank lockers, safes and offshore accounts and you’ll quickly experience a lightness of mind & spirit that will be truly liberating, as well as empowering.

If we live simply, we have a huge impact on the planet. The environment is in dire straits. The increasing pollution, and the carbon footprint, it is all eroding the earth of its resources at an alarming rate. If we make a conscious decision to live more simply and more cleanly, we will spare the planet a lot of abuse. Lesser cars will mean reduced emissions of poisonous gases. Alternative energy use like wind and solar will mean less burning of the already diminishing fossil fuels. Cutting out many of the luxuries of our lives such as airconditioning will help the bruised planet heal. Again, like in the previous point, the idea is not to forsake life as we know it and become hermits. But a balance can be achieved quite easily. For instance, make a car-pool for your children’s school pickups and drops. This way you will ensure that rather than three or four vehicles going separately yet simultaneously to drop four individual kids, only one goes! Makes a monumental difference.

If we gather a large selection of gadgets around us, we expose ourselves to a heightened amount of harmful radiation and invisible waves. This unknowingly stresses out our bodies. Studies have chronicled the irreversible damage that cellular phone waves cause. If we feel that our bodies are our temples, we ought to treat them with respect and reduce our exposure to these detrimental devices. While one understands the indispensability of many of these items, one can certainly get entirely rid of appliances such as Microwaves and significantly minimize the usage of essential conveniences such as cell phones, by simply using one of many applications on one’s phone itself, that curtail consumption of social media; in addition, keep your phone as physically distant from yourself as possible, and at night, definitely switch it off altogether. With these little changes, you will create a balance between usage & health.

So how exactly can we begin to practise a less abrasive lifestyle? By adopting some simple practices. Clean out your desk. Get rid of all old and unwanted things, especially those made of materials that cannot be recycled. Put an end to plastic use. Similarly, clean out your wardrobe. Keep a few clothes that you need and like. Don’t hoard unnecessarily. Try to live green. Buy organic food and clothing. Use wooden toys rather than plastic ones. Limit the amount of media you are consuming. Reduce screen-time. Read instead. Spend time alone and among nature. Reflect. Introspect. Spend time alone and with yourself. Switch notifications from the countless apps and communication tools that we use. Essentially, adopt what is known as a ‘slow’ lifestyle, rather than a fast one. Slow fashion, slow food and slow pace.

Perhaps most importantly, say NO. The power and ability to say NO when buying something are extremely important. We tend to surround ourselves with possessions we don’t really need. In order to lead a contented life, we really only need very few things. If we learn to say no and keep our desires and copious greed in check, we would have accomplished a much more frugal, economical, and cleaner lifestyle.

A simple life does not have to be a life denouncing the pleasures of living. The key thing to realize is that it isn’t ‘things’ but people and feelings that give us joy. And the moment we understand this, our tendency to lead stress-filled and complicated lives will come to an end. We will, as a community, as a society, and as a collective whole, become more one with the planet and with one another, reduce discrepancies, disharmony and discord, and be more in sync.

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