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Word of the Day: Simplicity

Updated on March 16, 2013
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Sometimes a simple word can inspire meaningful thought and bring about change. The word I awoke to this morning is “simplicity”. Now I know what the word means but I wondered why it was so central to my thinking today. Since I don’t believe in coincidence, I knew there was a hidden lesson here so I turned to the dictionary. Maybe, just maybe, there was something I was missing.

Dictionary.com defines “simplicity” this way.

  • The state, quality, or an instance of being simple.
  • Freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts: an organism of great simplicity.
  • Absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness: a life of simplicity.
  • Freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity; artlessness; naturalness: a simplicity of manner.
  • Lack of mental acuteness or shrewdness: Politics is not a field for simplicity about human nature.

As human beings, our thoughts and feelings can be triggered by a variety of stimulants. What sparks a fire in one will elude another. For the purpose of this work, I want to focus on line three of the definition as it was the trigger for me. Let’s take a look..

"Absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness: a life of simplicity"

I sat with this statement for a few minutes, mulling over the components.

Luxury:

No where does this statement say that for simplicity to exist, we must do without the things that make us comfortable or happy. Like so many of you, I tend to complicate my life with excess stuff. I am trying to overcome this obstacle to simplicity but I have a ways to go. I have some luxuries in my home that I can do without and most of you will laugh at them. That’s because we are individuals and what I consider luxury, others see as a necessity.

I have an electric blanket on my bed. It’s a luxury. I don’t need it because I have dozens of non-electric blankets that could be piled on the bed for added warmth. I use the electric one because Luna, my Italian Greyhound spends her time under the covers while I work. She is tiny and it would be hard for her to lift the weight of additional blankets to burrow under the covers. Don’t laugh. I’m sure you have your own stories of what you do for your pets.

I have two televisions. That’s a luxury. I can only watch one at a time and I can’t tell you when I watched the one in the bedroom. So why do I have it? Are you ready for this? I have the second television for Luna. It keeps here company while I’m at work and keeps her from barking all day long and annoying my neighbors.

Pretentiousness:

The second word in the dictionary.com statement is “pretentiousness”. So many of us measure our success or self worth based on what we possess. Possessions do not make us better human beings. They do not make us better than those who have less. What gives us value is our compassion, our dignity and integrity. What gives us value is how we treat others and how we raise our children. So why do we pretend? Why do we allow an accumulation of “things” to make us arrogant? We are pretending, aren’t we?

How many of us rush to clean our house when we know visitors are coming? We hide our clutter in closets or under the furniture. We panic, fearing that we will be judged if something is out of place or that someone will see the dust and determine that we are lousy housekeepers. Does it ever occur to us that someone else might see that dust or clutter as a sign of someone who is living life and loving it without worrying about the minutiae? Visitors to my home are likely to find dust or clutter and if asked, my answer is always the same. I was too busy doing something fun or charitable to worry about a little dust. I prefer to keep it simple.

Ornament:

How many of us think we have to buy name-branded clothes to fit in or get our hair cut at the most popular salon to be accepted in certain social circles. Do you think your 1 carat diamond makes you more lovable than the one wearing a a simple gold band? Oh yes, we are creatures who think we can dress up the package and others will like us more. As children we didn’t worry about these things so when did it change? Is there anything more adorable than the child with their first birthday cake smeared all over their face? What about the child who found a mud puddle to play in and now wears that mud like a badge of honor? Children seem to just know that it’s the simple things that make us happy so why, as adults, do we think we have to hide behind glamour and price tags? Can’t a woman still be sexy in a pair of well worn jeans and a flannel shirt if her eyes are bright with love and a man just as endearing in a T-shirt and jeans if he has love in his heart?

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. - Victoria Moran,Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

Lessons From the Word of the Day

Plain can be beautiful. Simple can be sexy, love, the most endearing and a smile, well, it’s simply priceless when it comes at the right time.

Life does not need to be complicated. We do not need “things” to make us more successful or more valuable. Our value lies within our hearts and minds and in the deeds we do for the good of mankind.


I wish you simplicity today. May your day be filled with the love you deserve. Take the time to share a smile or hold a hand. Forget the chores and take time to just be. You'll be glad you did.

© 2013 Linda Crist, All rights reserved

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  • mperrottet profile image

    Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

    I am a great lover of simplicity, and really believe in this message. Right now I'm on a five month trip in our 30 foot travel trailer, and life is so very simple. I always feel so much happier in this little living space than I do at home - because everything is so uncomplicated. Love this hub! Voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful, awesome and I'm sharing.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    What programs does Luna like? LOL Oh my God you had me howling when I read about the electric blanket and the television. Do you have a special tv tray for meals for Luna? Wouldn't want her missing her favorite soaps just to eat now would we?

    Besides the silliness, the core message of this hub is right on, and you already know how I feel about the simple life.

    Well done Kindred!

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Simply true.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    A beautiful and awesome hub and a vote up and sharing! Keep it simple - woohoo!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    That is thought-provoking, and I enjoyed it.

    I think it is fine to spoil our furry little friends sometimes! It is funny that you have a tv for your dog, though!

    I like "stuff", but in the past I realized I had too much, and over time I have downsized.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Luna is a pretty name for a dog. I don't know many people who own Greyhounds. Very interesting breed.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Excellent advice, Linda. I'm certainly living the simple life. Now, if I could just teach my cats how to dust, I'd be all set!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Margaret, you are living quite the life. I am slightly envious. lol I really appreciate your visit and all the votes too.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, Luna's favorite is Animal Planet of course. lol She is quite the spoiled little lady and she knows how good she has it too. She doesn't get served on a TV tray but I do cook for her. She's on a diet and now gets carrots, green beans, and chicken prepared with love to supplement her limited amount of dog food. If I had it as good as this dog does I would not know how to act.

    Glad you enjoyed his one. I am seriously working on the downsizing but after so many years of accumulating, I have a bit of work yet to do. Wish me luck.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Eric, your comment is the proof. Nothing else needed to be said. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi vocalcoach. Thanks! Simple is really better, isn't it?

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Kathryn. Thanks for the visit and comment. Luna is an Italian Greyhound which means she is the tiniest of the greyhounds. She is about 15 inches tall and weighs about 17 pounds. She's a bit pudgey because she's a little old lady (10 years old). These little dogs are small in size and huge in personality. Her registered name is Bella Lunare (beautiful moon) because she is blue-grey in color. But, her unofficial name is Luna-tic, appropriately.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, you are doing it the right way. But, it might be easier to teach yourself to care as little about the dust as the cats do. You'll never get a cat to do the dusting unless it's pure accident as they go flying across the furniture. :-)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I don't care about the dust. So many things are no longer important, such as dust. As long as there's not stuff strewn around the house, I'm good to go!

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Ah, my dear friend, Linda,

    The answer is simple: LOVE, and that is what I keep on my profile page. As it is, as you say, what is in our hearts, is what is most important, not our things! Oh, boy, do I love my flannel pajamas!!! I wish I could wear them all the time! LOL I found the best young woman to cut my hair, and she only charges $15.00 ----I know, the horror!!! LOL But she does a much better job than those $60 -$100 and on places!

    I love simple, as this world is already way too complicated, so why must we make it more so.

    Simply beautiful hub here.

    Voted up ++++ and sharing

    Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

  • profile image

    Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

    Simplicity allows you to realize that you don't need "things" as you have all you need in nature. Loved this hub. Voted Up

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sweet Faith, I love my flannel too! And hair? Oh gosh, I haven't had a hair cut in over 15 years. Yes, I am one of those "older" women that people say should not wear their hair long but...oh well. lol I was built for comfort, not for speed and I wouldn't change it if I could. Sending you love and hugs across the miles my precious friend.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Joanne - hello! Thanks for the visit and for the simple truth in your lovely comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very inspiring hub. I learn much from you. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up and God bless you :-)

    Prasetio

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    I say women of any age should be able to have long hair! LOL, I bet the person who started saying that was a hair dresser. They make money off of people keeping their hair short!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello prasetio30. Thank you for the visit and the compliment.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Kathryn, you are probably correct. LOL

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    What can I say? whether I agree with you or not. I cannot walk unless I think only on walking. You would be surprised how complicated TV is.Thank you for this.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH, I cannot understand your situation but I understand your comment. It isn't easy to simplify some things, is it? Thank you for always supporting me, even when we don't agree. That is friendship at its best.

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Wonderful the word Simplicity.. is actually a beautiful word.. and I love the explanations you write about it.. Great word.. and a great message.. thank you

    blessing

    Sharing

    Debbie

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Debbie, you have spent a lot of time with me today and I appreciate it more than I can say. Thank you so much.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

    A brilliant read and thank you for sharing .

    Eddy.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    I consider myself fortunate to have been raised by a prudent grandmother in a time when very few had much of anything because of WWII -- so my humble beginnings were not recognized as a gift until I was grown and looked around at what everyone else had -- and life got much less simple in the process. Having come full circle, in my dotage, I again find myself cherishing the logical, useful and necessary and discarding most everything else. The years have been a great teacher and back to "very simple" is extremely rewarding. Excellent Hub and writing. Best/Sis

  • HLPhoenix profile image

    HLPhoenix 4 years ago

    Beautifully delivered message about simplicity... we can live very happily with less stuff... including less room to pack more stuff in. I once lived on a boat and loved it... really taught me what I can live without.

    However, like you, stuff for my dog's comfort is important... like her steps to get up on the bed at night, and because she has to be where ever I am, she has a dog bed in the kitchen, living room and bedroom (where I have my computer)... not to mention the one in the car.

    I love that so many people here on the Hub are seeking a simpler life... and you expressed it so well. voted up and sharing.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Angela. As you might expect, I agree totally. In fact, it is one of the reasons that I don't worry about this aging thing. The older I get, the happier I seem to be.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi HLPhoenix! You have made me feel normal. lol Luna has a doggie bed in every room too. I think it's the least we can do for them considering how non-judgmental they are and how much love and trust they give us.

    I could live on a boat easily too and I'd just bet that was a wonderful experience.

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 4 years ago

    i take pride in keeping it simple! name brands mean nothing to me, and i take pride in paying WAAAAYY less on ebay!

    truth be told - of all the definitions of simple - there are somedays i long for ignorance - or - the state of being 'simple'..

    sigh..

    i believe that might be nirvana - for a moment or 2..

    excellent word of the day, my friend..

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    You continue to grow as an entertaining and interesting writer. This is a great piece of work and it all started with one one word, It is funny how a word or phrase or sound of a train can get us going and we work as you did here, expanding the word, seeing where else it leads.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    The simple things are the best. Always have been always will be.

  • profile image

    alloporus 4 years ago

    Absence of luxury. That is a fascinating connection. Does it mean that as luxury is such a motivator in our modern world, that we are consigned to complexity with all the confusion that brings? Mmmm... very interesting, will have to think about that one. Thanks so much for a great hub.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    @ Leslie, girl, I am right there with you and also sometimes think ignorance might be a better place. But, we have work to do, lights to shine, and stories to tell. :-)

    @ Jim - my goodness, I am blushing. Your comment means the world to me. I am what some would consider a deep thinker; always seeing more than what is on the surface. I often wake to a word or feeling that takes me on a journey of thought. And in the journey, I learn more about myself and life. HP has given me a platform to share and isn't that what this journey is all about? I sincerely appreciate your praise and more importantly, your friendship.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    @ Gypsy - I certainly agree. Thanks for stopping by.

    @ alloporus - I appreciate your visit and your comment. I have had a lifelong fascination with the Indigenous People of my country as well as the Aboriginal People of Australia. The personal and spiritual growth that resulted from the ceremony of vision quest or walk about intrigued me and was the foundation for my own desire to simplify my life. Although still quite comfortable, I have mentally detached from needing material things to make me happy and for me - it is a good place to be. I wish you thebest as you contemplate "the absense of luxury". :-)

  • livingsta profile image

    livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    Awesome hub. Loved every bit of it. Thank you for sharing this beautiful hub.

    Voted up and sharing!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello livingsta - thank you for the visit. I appreciate the compliment and that you are sharing this.

  • Mr Archer profile image

    Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

    Just the right touch of spirit here. Let each of us know that we do not need to be this or that to be happy, and for others to enjoy us. I really liked your words here. Gave me a smile about just enjoying being inside my own skin. Voted up!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Mr Archer. Thank you for your kind words. I realized some years ago that the people I was attracted to most endearingly were the ones who were "comfortable" in their own skin. I wanted to be like them and I have worked on it and finally accomplished it. I like it here. :-)

    Thanks for the visit. I'm happy that you enjoyed it and found a smile here too.

  • larakern profile image

    larakern 4 years ago from Georgia

    Irc7815-

    I love this hub! I'm constantly in a state of downsizing and organizing. I've actually managed to organize a few rooms in my house this week. I find it so much easier to find things now! I voted up! Thanks for sharing!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    larakern, could you come help me with my house? lol Kudos to you for making progress. I have a lot to do and so much junk to get rid of but...I am working on it. Thanks for the visit.

  • larakern profile image

    larakern 4 years ago from Georgia

    Irc7815-

    I wish I could! I have a rule to help me with decluttering: If I bring something new into the house I must get rid of something of greater or equal size. For instance, if I buy a new purse I find an older purse I haven't used in a while and give it to a family member, friend, or just donate it. It really is slow progress but after you get into that mindset things become a lot easier! Good luck!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Larakern, that's very creative. I need to stop bringing in things all together though. I don't need anyhing but I have a bad habit of bringing in pieces of nature. I have rocks and wood all over this house that I've picked up because it spoke to me. Strange, huh?

  • picklesandrufus profile image

    picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

    nice hub! Simplicity is a beautiful thing and you expressed its beauty so well. Vote up and useful!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you picklesandrufus. Your visits are always appreciated.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Eddy, I'm sorry this is late. I missed your comment somehow. Thank you so much. I'm happy that you enjoyed this one.

  • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

    Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

    Hello, I saw your name on Bill's "Artistry with Words" blog and thought I'd visit! I really like this piece about simplicity...I like how you considered it so thoughtfully from different angles and shared so much of yourself here. Your dog sounds adorable. :-) ~Lurana

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Lurana. Thank you so much for visiting. Bill is such a sweetheart and has become one of my dearest friends as well as a mentor. I appreciate your kind words and am so happy you liked this piece. Luna, my Italian Greyhound sends her best to you as well and says she is sendinyou a doggie hug.

  • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

    Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

    Thank you, and I love the name Luna!

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