Thursday, June 9, 2016

June 9, 2016 - A Simple Life

A family of Canada Geese relax in the late afternoon sun.  The spot they’re in is safe, but they are still watchful as all wild creatures are.  The world is always full of surprises.  That’s what makes life worth living.  However, I am far enough away that they are not worried about me at all.

If they could talk, they would tell you that life is good because life is simple.  They wake up with the warm sun and search for food, which is always plentiful, though they must work for it.  They are large and strong and capable.  They raise many young and they have lively communities.  They swim peacefully on ponds and other bodies of water.  They are great in number and increasing daily.  The Good Earth provides, always.  The demands and rewards of life are simple and just.
Simply being geese.
A simple life is not the same thing as an easy life.  A simple life is a good life; an easy life is a boring life, and usually it is very hard because in the end one is left with nothing.  For human beings, a simple life is a humble roof over one’s head.  It is simple meals of good bread, cheese, meats, and greens.  Sometimes a simple wine or beer is added.  A simple life is a clean life and a quiet life.  While clothing may be old, laundry is always done and hanging on the line outside to dry.  Music is quiet and sweet, often played on a simple instrument by a family member.

What else makes up a simple life?  A simple life includes good friends and family.  A simple life makes do with current surroundings and does not pine after ridiculous frivolity.  A simple life means good sleep, honestly earned and happily indulged in with gusto.  A simple life includes hard work and honest pay, and one who lives a simple life has a right to be proud.  Above all, a simple life embraces the Truth and never settles for a lie, no matter how small.

Then there is the easy life, which is not always “easy” and is certainly not simple.  An easy life is a lazy life.  It is a life without dreams or ambition.  An easy life is dull and boring.  In an easy life, the surroundings are often dirty and unkempt.  No attempt is made to beautify things.  In an easy life, food is often available but its quality is quite questionable.  The easy life does not develop talents, skills, or knowledge.  It does not value craftsmanship, culture, or legacy.  Trust in oneself and in one’s skills along with pride in one’s accomplishments is completely absent.  How bereft of joy an easy life can be.  It is not the life the geese have chosen.

I prefer a simple life over an easy life, although I will not disparage those who choose the latter.  I prefer hard work, discipline, and a job well done.  Life is a choice.  First we learn the rules.  Then we either use the rules or we get used by them.  It’s that simple.

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