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Living the Simple Life

The trend of today for many people is to live the "simple life." However, what exactly is the simple life? There are as many answers to this question as there are individuals looking to find the peace and contentment that seems so evasive. Yet, in their hearts there is a void, an empty spot that modern consumption just cannot fill. So,people sit there pondering what they can do to live the simple life, while the television's volume is on high and the voice mail fills up with messages. After all this thinking, hunger comes into play. A quick trip to McDonald's or Burger King and then back home to an evening of station-broadcast news and opinions, and then the comedies of late-night shows. You knwo, the no-holds-barred laughter at everything and anything, and nothing is beyond beign the butt of jokes.

The Simple Life is right there in your heart and in your home. It just needs a little dusting off, or perhaps you can move some of your possessions to the side to make room for Simple Life to breathe some fresh air and come into play in your life. Whoa! how can a person have the simple life right there when real simple life is living in the woods with the bears and the deer and hunting and fishing for your food. Yes, there are some that find this type of life very satisfying and then there are those that do not. Who is correct? Both are indeed correct. The Simple Life is not letting your possessions control you, it is living within your means and not worrying about mounting debt, and it is laughter, quiet, and learning and evaluating all that goes around you. It is not accepting what you see on television or the internet as written in stone; for in fact, it is someone's opinion or view of a situation and it may or may not be yours. It is not joining every group, committee, or cause, so that there is no time for famly, friends, and individualism.

In a few words, it is getting the most from your particular life, by doing away with what is not necessary and concentrating on what is important and life-sustaining. Life 'whether physical, spiritual, or social 'it is having the time for those you love and for those you would like to know and love. It is stepping outside to a sky filled with stars and to find peace in the patter of raindrops on your window. It is taking a deep breath and clearing your mind, and it is the aroma of a good meal, the sound of children laughing, and the touch of a person who loves you.

The Simple Life 'you can live in the woods or on an island, you can fish all day or garden, you can read and learn, or write a song. It is enjoying every minute of every day in the way that brings peace and tranquility into your life, keeps you out of debt, and that old belief of "keeping up with the neighbors" is put to rest. It is being yourself, but more importantly, being true to yourself. It is having the peace of mind to open your mind and it is setting no limits or boundaries in what you can imagine and also to what you can accomplish. It is having the joy of a morning sunrise and the tranquility of a sunset. It is knowing that Nature cannot be ravaged but must be kept for future generations to enjoy and it is having the wisdom that money does not buy friends or happiness but good will does.
- Arleen M. Kaptur 2004 February

About the Author

Arleen Kaptur has written numerous books and articles on Simple Living.
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