The Search for Simplicity
The sweet, satisfied sigh that ensues a Sudoku puzzle accomplished.
The chubby rolls of a baby’s leg.
The quickly abated tragedy put aside with ice cream and a game of catch.
The nightly news that speaks of a neighborhood robbery, not the salacious stealing of our souls.
Counting on the World Order.
Counting on World Leaders.
Counting our blessings.
These are the days I miss.
As I looked about the lush, green lawn on a self-imposed smartphone sabbatical amidst hundreds of fellow bathers today, I recognized how complicated our lives have become. Admittedly, everyone appears on the same level when they show up in bathing suits. Fat or thin, mal- or well-nourished, dark skinned or light skinned, freckled or frowning. Nothing smacks of grassroots democracy more than a day at the community pool.
My children are no longer small or even medium-sized kids. They are in their mid- and late-teens. The intricate web of complication called growing up has begun as they navigate this world under very different circumstances than I did at their age.
They have to battle the constant onslaught of (mis)information. Of competitive Instagram appearances. Of snap-chat that and oh, please this. We can never start a meal until someone has photographed it first to share with the universe.
Simply put: Life has gotten complicated.
So I recognized, even as I put away my phone last night with no excuse that I needed it on my nightstand to serve as an alarm clock, that I struggle with my habitual need to be needed. Or to be needy. Or to be — simply put — on.
On what? God knows. On much of social media, I’ve witnessed rampaging rants and rude thrusts of opinion; excusing misbehavior and playground bullying.
Only the world stage is not a playground. And it is hard with each passing day not to succumb to equally ruthless wickedness that has besieged us since November.
But the hopeful are the last to die. And I shall not perish without a good fight. It is time to find pockets of simplicity.
You can find it
- in the dusty pages of that Sudoku puzzle book at the foot of your nightstand
- in the gloriousness of homemade lemonade on a bright sunny summer morning
- in the accomplishment you feel when you walk 10,000 daily steps (FitBit fans unite!)
- in the sweet smell of your loved one’s neck that says “I am here for you. Because I am here.”
- in re-watching that old movie from the late 1980s that reminds you of the times when you knew less and it didn’t matter
- in the kindness you show every single day to those you know and to those you don’t simply because the world deserves your care
- in the absence of malice when you could have chosen otherwise
- in the words “I am thinking of you”.
The search for simplicity may never end as we combat the avalanche of our modern world. I vote for its pursuit anyway.
In my view it is a battle worth attempting. Yes, indeed. It’s that simple.