The Gifts of Simplicity

Joseph - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the simplicity of wooden pencils. There is no need to make them mechanical or more technologically advanced. I believe that keeping life simple allows me to make meaningful connections. I crave human connections, spiritual connections and physical connections. In a world where technology has permeated every facet of our lives simplicity is a rare sanctuary that takes a little effort to achieve. Simple living allows me to make meaningful connections with others and with myself.

A technologically cluttered life gets in the way of making meaningful human connections. Staying untied to electronic devices allows me to give a friendly smile and nod to people as I pass them on the street. This acknowledgement of other human beings is important to being well rounded and happy. I do not completely shun technology, but I am careful to keep iPpods and cell phones from replacing other people as my companions.

Simplicity also helps me to build an intimate understanding of my physical capabilities. Physical suffering and overcoming challenges makes me more aware of my own frailty and mortality but also proves that the limits I have in my mind can be crushed. Organized gyms are great but I have found that without machines and TVs and other people milling around I am much more likely to push my mind and body to extreme levels of exertion. This can be done almost any where with little to no equipment. The point is not where or what kind of machine is used to workout, it is the struggle and triumph of doing something faster or harder than I have ever done it that sets new limits and gives me a heightened awareness of my own human weakness and strength.

This realization also lets me build a stronger spiritual connection with my creator. Simplicity in life gives me more time to build my relationship with God. By building human relationships and revealing my physical mortality and at the same time revealing the strength that God has created in me I am able to grow stronger spiritually. Simplicity is best in this high paced, highly technological world we live in. I use technology as a tool when I need to but I will not allow any new technology to get in the way of making meaningful connections that make my life fuller and happier, and I will always use wooden pencils. There is no need to complicate something that already works just fine.