Just Enough is Plenty

This post is inspired by the essay, Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary, published on Aeon Magazine.

interior-with-two-girls-by-peter-ilsted-1904

Detail from Interior with Two Girls by Peter Ilsted, 1904. Photo courtesy Flickr

Apparently, ballpoint pens don’t work in space because of the lack of gravity. It is said that NASA, troubled by this realization, spent many millions of dollars designing a ‘space pen’ that could function in the absence of gravity. The Russians used a pencil.

Whether or not this story is true, it raises interesting questions about how technology is used in modern society. Are we, like NASA, complicating life and wasting money on superfluous technology?

To what extent could we, like the Russians, find much ‘simpler’ solutions to the problems we face?

What role should technology play in living the simple life? In the 21st century, are there times when our lives could be improved by using less technology, not more? Or by using technology smarter?

My love/hate with technology is around communications. I love my computer/internet connection and have acquiesced to having a mobile phone, but the trick is not feeling like you have to be available 24 hours a day to people. They’re just tools, not the master you’re enslaved to.

To be sure, there is no ‘rule’ to follow, as such, that can tell us when technology is appropriate and when it is not. There is much, much more to say on the question of technology in future posts. But for now I will  close this post with following comment:

The simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary. Technology can play an integral role to simplify our lives.

Life is about choices. Making the choice to live life in a simpler way is something that is becoming a necessity.

 

Do It Anyway

When I read this poem first time, it felt like Mother Teresa’s poem is a wonderful reminder for each us to continue to be good even when it looks bleak.

Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and The God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

The above verses reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.

They seem to be based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way.  You can read both version using following link:

The Mother Teresa Connection (The Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith)