Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Remove Something Everyday

Despite people acknowledging “less is more” as a cliché and overused adage, no one really seems to follow the actual advice. People are constantly being sold new things, even when the old ones are perfectly fine. The concept of “planned obsolescence” isn’t even a secret anymore. Most of the stuff people buy is unnecessary.

In a broader context, many of things we do are unnecessary. If you keep buying things you don’t need, you’ll need to work harder doing work you may not like, which takes time away from family life, spiritual pursuits, and other important stuff. The more you seek external things, the more life you end up trading for those things.

The mindset of needing more and wanting more creates a life of scarcity. When you strive for more, you give up more of yourself. The less you need, the more time you have to live your own life. Freeing ourselves of attachments results in a certain mental freedom that feels almost alien at first.

When you stop forcing your will upon the world, the world tends to be kinder.

When you go to a dinner party, you don’t walk in all sweaty and desperate and demand that the host give you a steak, french fries, a special craft beer and a silk napkin. You show gratitude and you take what you get. Many people approach the world in the former way, though. They think that life owes them something, and they’ll do anything to get ahead.

They might get ahead, but will they be any happier? Not as long as they’re searching for something outside of themselves. And you know what? The attitude of the materialistic and desperate person does little more than deplete the world’s resources and induce further chaos. No one wins that race.

You know the saying “beggars can’t choose?” We’re all beggars of a sort in this life. We can choose our circumstances to an extent, but we experience the most peace when we’re able to adapt to a scenario rather than force the world to conform to our wishes.

To remove the unnecessary is more of an act of strong will than to demand too much from the world. Boldness is expressed in simplicity. Brevity is wit. I’ll keep this one short.

By Charlie Ambler, The Daily Zen

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