Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Simply simple

It's an increasingly complex world out there. with the complexity comes headaches, stress and complications. funny eh, complex equals complications. But it's true. We're increasingly letting go of things that matter because of complexities.  The job landscape is infinitely leaving little time for important things like friendships, families, exercise.

I've been trying to live simply. and yet, I'm amazed at what I can't do without. Like my cellphone. funny how flabbergasted I felt about being within reach at all times, that is, before I had a cellphone (can't believe that was 10 years ago). Now, I can't leave home without it. My DVD's. My car. Internet. Email. Music. Movies. Gadgets. I just read an article in a magazine about these "time suckers".  Yup, things like sitting like a zombie in front of the telly can take a precious hour or so of one's time. Which amazes me because I perpetually hear people complaining they have little time to exercise or read. But if you inquire further, you'd find out they easily log the hours on either internet chatting, watching those mindless programs, or playing video games.  It's not bad per se to indulge in these activities, but they're so addicting, you just want to be passive.  I mean it's so easy to lie on the couch and watch that silly program dancing before your eyes.

Even meals are not spared from complexity. With so much choices, lunch or dinner can be a smorgasboard of menus. I'm not about to be KJ about it, but much of the choices are really downright unhealthy and far removed from consuming as near as possible to the natural state of the food source.

It's just that I've noticed that the farther we move away from simplicity, the more stressful, the less healthful we will be. We were meant to move but with all conveniences available, we're veering away from exercise and say we don't have the time for it. Result: preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, etc. are claiming more people than those caused by germs/viruses.

Lack of sleep can cause accidents and suppress one's immune system. This 7-eleven mentality opens up more and more people to immune-related sickness.

The fancy food stuff on the other hand makes us vulnerable to lifestyle diseases. Think about this: in the early 1900s, people were bound to die from natural causes. This sharply shifted to lifestyle-caused diseases when we entered into the information age.

All those fat-burners and quick remedies can't alleviate the obesity epidemic in the U.S. We can't honestly expect those can work for us either.

Talk about entertainment. At first, Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb was a boon. It made us more productive long after dusk has settled. But it also prevented us from pursuing more rest.  Now we have people working the night shift. Or worse, partying the whole night. Sooner or later, we all would have to pay the price for that. And with so much forms of entertainment available, it's easy to get lost.S o easy.

Bottomline is simplicity. I used to hear it from my parents who yearn for those yesteryears when life was simpler, and people were "richer" for it.

Can we strive to learn to live simpler in a world that refuses to?

I believe we can strike a balance.  It will take some effort on our part but we can. Eat a bit more healthfully. Find more reason to move, to walk, to run, to play. Catch a bit more sleep. Learn to say no when things get a lot stressful. Turn off the telly or the radio or the DVD player to catch up with friends or catch up on reading, catch up on rest.

Time was when I can live out there in the boondocks with not much conveniences, no TV, no celfones, no gadgets. Just stargazing at night, nature-tripping and meditation in the morning. I know I can still live like this now.

Simplicity. It ain't as simple or easy to live and breathe it as before. But it's possible.


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