This I Believe

Tiffani - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 19, 2006

K.I.S.S. In this case, the letters do not refer to an amorous gesture. Rather, it signifies a method of living. I can remember my grandmother and my mother quoting “K.I.S.S.” I often wondered what they meant, as they spoke about how to tackle a problem or the latest parenting style. It wasn’t until I matured and became more aware of the complexities of life that I realized K.I.S.S. was an acronym. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I believe in simplicity. I believe in a life full of joy, purity, and worth. Henry David Thoreau once said, “Our lives are frittered away by detail; simplify, simplify”. It is within this quote I learned to appreciate the small, simple things life brings. From a sincere thank you, to a thoughtful gesture, to a peaceful walk, the littlest things mean the most to me.

I believe in friendships that last, significant relationships, and true love. From these simple aspects my life can be fulfilled. A few years ago I woke up for school one morning and, half awake, I zombie walked to my shower. It wasn’t a holiday, it wasn’t my birthday, it was just an ordinary school day. After getting out of the shower, I noticed a colorful paper taped to my mirror. Scrambling for my glasses, I wondered what was begging for my attention. The paper read “10 things I love about you”. My mom had written ten things she loved about me. They were the simplest things that she had noticed and grew to love. One bullet said she loved how I loved to sneak into the pantry at night. Another was her admiration for my patience and forgiving attitude. These pure statements have stuck with me since then. I didn’t realize that my mother was teaching me about appreciation. She was teaching me about the simple things.

I was searching for a graduation gift for a close friend and came across a wonderful book. It was called “Living the Simple Life”, by Elaine St. James. In it, Ms. James mentions very easy ways to make life more meaningful. Respect, manners, humor and patience are just a few behaviors that she elaborates in her book. As I began reading the book, I realized that I have begun to master some of these very behaviors as I begin the next phase of my life.

Life is about appreciating, giving, and caring. It is not about technology, materials or other extravagent details. This is not to say that all matters can be handled without some form of complex solutions. It only means that the focus should be on the simplest form of achievement. With the motto that mom and grandma have instilled in me, “getting back to the basics” is another way of putting it. I believe in living the simple life!