Striving for Beauty
by Vicki GRECH
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Beauty can be seen in many things, nature, sea and landscapes, people, artworks, crafts and so on. However, I wonder how many see the beauty in “simplicity?”
Whatever happened to the “simple” and “unproblematic” world we used to enjoy? Where are the days we could save simply by adjusting our lifestyle? In a nut-shell; “technology has consumed them”. It is through technology we seem to have out-smarted ourselves. Not only has it robbed us of a “quality” of life, it has also seen us become “slaves” to modern-day living. It seems now many of us “live to work”, rather than “work to live”!
This is not to say however that - “life should be easy”. There should be no confusion between “simple” and “easy” lives.
A simple life is free of clutter, and in doing so, obviously costs less to maintain such a lifestyle. It also provides for less problematic and maintenance of the clutter that congests and consumes our lives. Clutter comes in many forms, everything from far too many people in our lives personally to tend, to too many gadgets. This clutter in our lives tends to not only blind us to the reality of our own lives, but also sees us distracted from the real objective and focus on life holistically. After-all, isn’t the primary goal of life to be happy? I look around me and see so many who are miserable, they are not happy. So, what is wrong? It seems to me the most important thing in most peoples lives has been traded or exchanged for clutter!
Clutter has come in the form of absorbing ourselves in “too much!” Too many gizmo’s and gadgets, not only to learn, but to purchase, update, and maintain. A costly business the corporate giants of our world are only too happy to see us indulge and immerse and lose our lives in. And within the immersion, the true essence of life is lost - “ourselves, our real friends and family“. It seems our “quality” has been traded for “quantity!” Ultimately, defeating the very purpose of life itself. Let’s face it folks - we cannot sit down to a romantic dinner with a personal computer, a GPS, an iPhone, etc., We can take them with us on that special day out, but really, they’re truly no fun at all. Is anything that accompanies us through life on our journey that doesn’t live and breathe, any good and fun company at all”? I think not.
Imagine this scenario - “you decide to go out on that special day, you ring or Facebook (social networking on a personal computer or iPhone), around your friends to see who can come with you. Sadly, to your dismay, no one is available. Nine times out of ten, they’re too busy working for the very thing they say enables them a social life!” I challenge readers to ask - has it all really been worth it?
It truly seems there is time for “technology” but little or no time for humanity”. The things in our life, through “simplicity” we had the time and money to enjoy, free of clutter, space, to immerse ourselves within “human activity” at a pace we could afford and enjoy. We used to know this as - “the beauty that surrounds us ”. It is right in front of our eyes, but truly we cannot see for all the clutter in front of them, (our eyes).
The ease of life is not found in how little work one must do. Work is sort-of like an “exercise programme!” Life is about “balance”, we ought to play as much as we work. It is through work many of us find self confidence, self esteem at doing the job right and so forth. Work provides and paves the way for “learning opportunities”, advancement of the “self” in purpose for others. It is through “working” with others we learn to build relationships of diversity. We learn to work in harmony with others, our environment and even ourselves. It is through challenging the mind, body and spirit to survive that we find our greatest peace as we overcome obstacles. This provides us with a sense of “self worth”, and we “earn” respect from our peers when we engage in “work” for a common cause. Work provides stimulus for the energy that lives inside of us and drives us to get up each morning. Without work, we would never have learned how to play! For it is through work we learn to engage in group activities and learn to function within loving structures of. “fairness”.
However, if life was “too easy” we would become bored, disinterested in any type of activity, including play, for the simple reason - “we are not stimulated”. Life was not meant to be easy for a “human” purpose. Primarily to provide us (humanity), with a “place” in the “scheme of things” or the world’ Look around, everything on earth “works”. Animals, plants, oceans, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes etc., All have a fundamental and essential role to fulfil in the grand scheme of God’s design of the “Natural Order Of Things or “ON TO”. For truly, if life were too easy, we as humanity, would be in an “off” status rather than “on”. What I mean by this is - boredom is the trigger for loneliness, loneliness comes in many forms and is not restricted for people striving for human company. We are “turned off” or without incentive and initiative.
Many times you will hear of children, even adults sometimes, engaging in “wacky” activities. Drugs is one of the primary reasons many young people fall into the depths of despair. Ask many of them why they took them and they’re response may be something like this - “oh, I dunno, I was bored I guess”. Whilst many of them have many friends, what they don’t have is “active stimulus”. A “purpose” to strive toward, a goal to reach. Take a look in the world of the rich, it is mostly these children that fall prey to substance abuse, (it‘s an affordable pastime). The less rich children will steal or thug others for money to buy them (drugs), hence to lose their lives to jail. The primary reason being it seems in just one word - “boredom”
Boredom leads to loneliness, an emptiness, a void in one’s life. The breeding ground for mental and physical illness. I refer to these types of illnesses as “Spiritual” illnesses. Because the illness is derived from in more cases than not, the “void of the spirit”. The spirit of the flesh that is without, it craves, it starves for stimulus. It strives to drive the human body! Left unattended with nothing to fill the void, it falls into “nothingness”, hence to become “dispirited” overall.
Life is not easy, and for some, they’re lives are so much harder than they need to be either by famine and/or war etc., I acknowledge this with a deep heart of compassion. However, for many, especially in the west, it is a simple case of - “too much too soon to reach”. And in the climb to so-called delusional success, is the greatest fall, and for many are plunged into the depths of darkness and despair.
However, it is through the beauty of simplicity as Jesus taught we find our freedom to live well in Him all ways! Hence why Jesus taught - “happy is he who has the least of all for he has the greatest”.
May God Bless all who believeth in Him, (Jesus), and know of His great works! And for those who don't - please pray for them that they will!
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