The art of simple living is a forgotten art. There once was a time when leading a relaxed life was the norm. Life used to be the same for generations. The peasant’s son would be a peasant and a blacksmith’s son a blacksmith. Talent in profession was often inherited and hence easily acquired. The outputs were also of exceptional quality as the techniques were time tested. The furniture or sculpture would be flawless; as, the minutest details were emphasised on by the trainer who was usually the father, grandfather or some acquaintance.
Leisure was ample, manufacturing being a time consuming job was limited to requirements. Possessions were handed over by generations and were much valued. Extras being limited did not pollute the land which beamed with health and reflected it back on its inhabitants.
In short, life was simple. Less things, meant less hassle and less stress. With the change in times, we have lost the mind-set to live a simple life and enjoy the journey called life. The society has developed an atmosphere where a relaxed life almost seems like a crime. If a person likes to live a life of ease he would definitely go into depression, as the world around him is moving at an extremely rapid pace. The work accomplished per day has multiplied ten times over in the last three generations. Most of the time, the work is simply done because it will fetch money to spend on new acquisitions. It would also mean that the old acquisitions will have to be discarded as there is hardly any space or need to keep them all.
Now where would these things, which cannot be kept in the house go? Naturally they would end up as trash in mountains of garbage that are being piled up upon Mother earth without any fault of hers. These piles are non bio-degradable, and will not vanish with time. Each and every item that we buy with our hard earned money; sacrificing health, relations and priceless time, will end up in creating trash for the world.
The more you have, the more occupied you are. The less you have, the more free you are.Mother Teresa
We will be leaving behind a world without fresh air water or anything worth living for. The diversion from simplicity is taking us to a destination where we don’t want to go. Yet, we are helpless… being socially pre-conditioned with an absurd set of expectations.
The huge skyrises, sleek cars, flyovers, industrial buildings will become an eye sore when they are obsolete and old. Many couples dread bringing children to this uncertain world. Yet, everyone contributes to the trash mountain in his or her own way…Every year, every month, every minute of the day.
It is the other living beings, the plants and animals, who are the major sufferers in spite of living the simplest life possible. They do not waste water, add to carbon footprints, yet they have to die or become extinct because of effects of climate change.
The solution to a bleak future is adopting the lifestyle of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Simple living and high thinking.’ Eating simple food, doing physical work, reading a lot, doing good for the world; will not only keep us healthy and happy but will act as a balm for the earth’s malady.
Industrial and infrastructural development is not the only form of development. True development will be eco-friendly and reverse the harm done in every sphere of the earth. This will only be possible if we lead a simple life and take from the earth only that much, which is essential for life. We cannot and should not go back to lifestyle of the olden days, but for the sake of our own well being, we should adopt the minimalist approach towards life.
Development is fine and necessary but it should not go beyond rationality. Every freedom comes with some duty. We should also remember out duty towards the earth, where we are merely the guests of time. If simplicity of life can bring about wellness for all. We are all winners. If we don’t spend much on unnecessary things we would also save a lot. Saving a lot would result in stress free life, resulting in good health.
One small positive change can bring about a chain of positive changes, and the end result will be bliss for all. Let the chain begin, by adopting a simple and happy lifestyle, which will be a boon for the generations to come.