I believe in the simple things in life. I believe that a smile and a nod to a stranger is better than hoping to get a smile by the car you drive, or what street you live on.
I have seen people drift away to material things in the hopes of getting that smile or the sense that material things will bring us happiness or the sense of purpose. I feel the opposite where sometimes material things only bring complications, and can or may get in the way of what is really important; Living simple for the good of others.
I do understand that some material things come from effort and hard work, but I am worried that excesses have taken us away from reality. Our reality is that life is short, and what counts are not the clothes we wear, but the clothes we give to others on a chilly night.
I sometimes wonder why some people feel the need to have more if they already have more. Now don’t me wrong, I was raised on the foundation of responsibility and hard work and that has gotten me far in life. Also, do not confuse what I believe in, for I am not saying take from Peter and give it to Paul. I hope that we all become more aware of what our excess wants can do for others.
I believe that you should not only use your talents that brought you fortune, but to also use your talents for the goodness of others. The sincere appreciation of using your excess material things for the good of a family in need will not only bring you a better sense of purpose, but it will bring you back to reality. A reality that material things’ does not define a person’s success, but success comes from how you have used your excesses for the goodness of others.
I sometimes like to define how life should be lived by what you have brought to the table. When we go to parties we ask what we came bring or what we can do, but seldom is that ever asked for the goodness of a stranger on the street without your excess. In our final hour, God will not look at what you have but what you have brought to the table.
I ask that you do not let material things bring purpose to your life but let the simple life bring material things to those less fortunate. Let the smile of helping someone in need be your excess purchase and you will be rewarded for it.
I was blessed by being raised by two parents that taught us how to live simply. My mother would probably argue that she was the one that taught us simple values for she is the more practical one in our family. I still remember getting hand me down clothes from our neighbor or an older friend in my early childhood and they looked and fit just fine. I learned from my father how the simple life can afford you the time necessary to help the community. When a family became homeless with 5 children he was able to give the time to get that family back on its feet by helping the family find a job and a home to live in.
Living simple makes my life less complicated in this very complicated world. I still drive my old Jeep that sometimes takes two cranks to start, but it gets me around town just fine.
This I believe.