It’s an unsurprising word. And yet, the very idea in today’s society is quite foreign and looked down upon. Most often when the word is mentioned, it evokes thoughts of dullness, boredom, ugliness. It is frequently viewed as discouraging and disappointing.
“In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, this Child calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential,” Pope Francis said in his 2015 Christmas Homily.
The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012- enough to end world poverty four times over.¹ The world economy is a complex thing. Simply giving the poor more money won’t eliminate poverty forever. But, the fact that 100 people amassed enough wealth in one year to pull the entire global population of poor out of their condition, even if temporarily, speaks volumes.
And it’s from this that simple takes on a imperative urgency.
“live simply so that others may simply live” Mahatma Gandhi
If 100 people can make that kind of global change, imagine what 3 million, 30 million, or 300 million could do. What if we all consciously lived deliberately? What if we lived as if each decision we make affected those around us? What if we all simplified? Imagine the force for good and, ultimately, change that would emanate from those decisions.