3 Reasons why People Fake being Simple & What Simplicity does not entail
Annoying Facade of Simplicity
Do you claim that you are simple? Are you fascinated by the concept of simplicity? Are you sure you're not using simplicity as a facade to hide something, from the world and may be yourself?
"It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple."
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Yet you would find many people trying to claim that they are very simple, while even a slightly close look could tell you that they are not. A few years of experience in the corporate will make you acquainted with many such simply fake human beings. This simplicity is often not genuine, it's a facade which is used to keep a lot hidden from the world. Are you also claiming at having achieved a high level of simplicity in your life? Make sure that you are actually being honest not only with the world, but even yourself.
Why would anyone put on a disguise of minimalism though? There are three main reasons because of which you might be tempted to don the facade of simplicity. These should all be avoided like plague. Each one of them will not only hinder your growth, but also might lead to disastrous misunderstandings.
Reason #1: Being a Miser
So you do not like to spend your money. You're definitely not a miser if you've a genuine reason for not being able to spend your money. But if you're, well, simply a miser, it would be rather simple and convenient for you to don the facade of simplicity rather than accept being what you are. This is very dangerous indeed. You might succeed in fooling people for sometime but sooner or later people would recognize the reality and off course, one can't fool self. You know what you are even if others do not, although you might try to tell yourself different. Try to be more generous and enjoy your life, if not, at least cease the futile attempts of covering up miserliness.
On the other hand, if you can't tell people your reasons for behaving like a miser, while you genuinely have some reason for not spending your money, it still is not a good excuse to pretend or lie that you prefer simplicity.
Mike always wanted a particular expensive car. He couldn't afford it at the moment. He pretended that he preferred simplicity and got a cheap car he could afford. The pretence kept on enhancing with time in all the dimensions even quite unrelated to the car. One of many people who were taken in and impressed by his charade, Claire, fell in love with Mike because of his so called simplicity. Later when Mike could afford the car, he was in a fix. Either he did not ever buy his dream car, or he could simply tell Claire that his simplicity which she fell in love with was simply fake.
Reason #2: Lack of confidence
Your lack of confidence of trying to new things might also tempt you to hide beneath your claim of not requiring any attention because of your simplistic tastes. All the time, you are not doing stuff which you actually want to do, just because you're feeling conscious that your attempts might not be successful. You keep on giving excuses to yourself, that you don't want to do any of this much desired stuff because you would rather prefer to remain a simple person. By doing this, you are curbing your own growth - you won't even know your potential if you don't try.
It may be as simple as wearing a certain outfit. If you try it, and it doesn't suit you, don't wear it. But don't avoid trying telling yourself that it will not comply with your so called simplistic life, while all the time, you dream of yourself shining in this new avtaar.
Have you met anyone who has don the Facade of Simplicity?
Reason #3: Threatened by Competition
Bad losers are often afraid of participation. Taking the same outfit example, if you're planning not to dress up because you're jealous of someone who will overshadow you, and then you tell people that you just preferred dressing up with simplicity, you are not simple. In fact there is nothing remotely simplistic about deceiving. Participating and losing gracefully will help you become a mature person, while the charade and non-participation will actually increase the insecurity levels.
Even if you're not pretending - be careful
Even if you consider yourself genuinely simple human being, please be careful that simplicity can't be your excuse for the following.
Simplicity does not entail foolishness.
Even if you're simple, that does not excuse you from making a fool of yourself. Don't think that you can behave unintelligibly and get away with it with the excuse of simplicity. On the other hand, make sure that people do not start doubting your abilities because of simplicity in your tastes. Make sure that your simplicity does not conflicts with your being presentable - specially in professional life.
Simplicity and Etiquette are not mutually exclusive.
Some people, somehow, prefer to remain filthy - in the literal sense. It might mean dirty nails, hair or simply lack of cleanliness while eating - in general - complete or partial absence of good manners. And they want people to overlook all these things, since they are simple. You cannot use your minimalistic way of living as an excuse for ill-mannered behaviour or non-cleanliness. If you're known for your simplicity, that does not exclude you from the list of someone with bad manners. You have to maintain the decorum and behave according to place and time as appropriate.
Quoting from a review on Amazon: "soul-level simplicity is not a lack of complexity, but a lack of duplicity."
Quoting from the product description: "Voluntary Simplicity is not about living in poverty; it is about living with balance."
It's never too late to be honest again.
Prevention is better than cure, does not mean that cure should not be attempted at all. Mike finally decided that any relationship, no matter how dear it is to him, should not be based on lies. And he told Claire about how he thought he must lie to keep people from knowing his financial status. Claire was very unhappy, but finally she understood, and forgave him, not before giving him a long lecture. While it's true that you should avoid the above temptations to facade of simplicity - it is never too late for rectification. Listen to your heart - you need not, and should not pretend to be someone you are not. Remember that being honest is the first pre-requisite of being simple.