Simply Complicated

simple I should live my personal life in the most simple way. But we should live our collective lives (as a community) in a more complicated way. Let me explain.  Simple individual lives would mean letting go of the desire to accommodate to the demands  of the media, fashion, religion, government, and other social influences.  I would not try to “fit” in to certain groups or certain kinds of people so that I can feel better about myself.  My self worth (as opposed to self esteem) should come from within, not from others.  When I grew as an adolescent, I desperately tried to fit in to a group so that I could be “cool” and accepted.  But I feel I have grown to the point of realizing that I don’t need others to feel worth. So, instead of living a life of indulgence, self service, and vanity, I would empty myself from all of this superficial qualities and fill myself  with peace, joy, acceptance, and service.  I must let go of all the complicated demands that we allow others to put on us, and simply live one day at a time, accepting my faults and limitations, and embracing who I really am.

Now, on a social aspect, we would need to be a more complicated community.  What I mean is, instead of simplifying our communities with segregating ourselves into individual subcultures (different races, ethnicities, fashions, religions), we should combine ourselves more into a more inclusive society.  Instead of labeling some liberals and others conservatives, we should think “outside the box” and perceive ourselves as united citizens.  We would need to refrain from thinking in dichotomies (black vs. white, religious vs. atheists, rich vs poor, democrats vs. republicans, educated vs. uneducated, us vs. them, etc. ).  Dichotomy thinking separates us from each other.  It makes us assume about who others are and what they represent. The famous author M. Scott Peck put it this way  “We have an obligation to confront our simplistic thinking about what being ‘normal’ should mean: an obligation to use critical thinking”.   We don’t think twice about many unjust assumptions.  We often assume that mentally ill people are dangerous.  We assume that all Muslims are terrorists.  We assume that  gays are perverts, religious people are fanatics, teenagers are lazy, the obese eat too much junk food, and that business owners are greedy.  M. Scott Peck also wrote that “Many assumptions we draw from labeling keep life at the level of superficiality” (The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, pg 38). We are afraid of going deeper in our lives, and prefer to have  a superficial, erroneous perception of the world.

This is because we don’t want to make the effort to listen to each other.  It is much easier to simply assume and label other people, and have a preconception about the person, and move on.  We are so concentrated in our own lifestyles and agenda that considering what others truly experience and believe in is not worth our time.  We simplify our social lives to the point of neglecting each other. We must empty ourselves form all the preconceiving thoughts about each other, and start reaching out.  We must deny ourselves so that we can effectively love our neighbors as ourselves.



About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

4 responses to “Simply Complicated

  • Cindy Holman

    Well said – I think you and I think alike. I’ve thought these thoughts many times myself – funny how that is! I’ve always thought of myself as simply complicated 🙂

  • Toby Simmons

    Very nice!
    Let me know what you think of mine . . .
    Keep on writing!

  • breezespeaks

    I agree with your opening paragraph. We should live our lives in a minimalist way, and not be slaves to the media, who push us towards consumption as a form of validation.
    And while I also agree with your second paragraph, the us vs them stuff is hard to ignore. The rich have always run society, and the poor get the crumbs they drop. Until this stops, and the rich view the poor as equals. this dichotomy will continue. Utopia requires all to participate. But it was a great post, and very uplifting.

  • iBurk

    I love your points in the second paragraph here. I recently read a study exploring how prejudices are developed, and almost always they started simply by labeling different ethnic or class groups as separate from one’s own. In fact, they’re so well-engraved into our minds that even African-Americans who were given a test for unconscious prejudices were found to often have a slight automatic implicit preference for Caucasian Americans.
    These things really make you start to wonder why we distinguish in the first place.

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