Search      Language 

Turn to Jesus (Article)

Virtue 101: Simplicity
Practical tips on how to foster the virtue of simplicity in our children.


Snapshot of simplicity

Simplicity is the opposite of needless complication, so the simple person is just they present themselves to be. What you see is what you get— and what you get is honest, straightforward, and uncomplicated.

A simple person does not need external props (the latest and most expensive toys, games, clothes, cars, etc.) to bolster up their ego; they are comfortable and at ease with who they are, and they do not base their identity on their possessions or achievements. There is no pretense, no show, no acting out a role to impress others. They are who they are, no frills added.

People with the virtue of simplicity are clear and transparent, and their relationships are honest and solid. There is no secret agenda, no hidden intentions. The simple person is never two-faced; she is sincere and straight, with nothing to hide.

The virtue of simplicity goes hand-in-hand with the virtues of humility and sincerity.

Signs of simplicity

The simple person may stand out for:
- His thoughtful way of treating others
- Her sincere joy when he greets a friend
- His ability to accept the things he has without needing to compare himself or feel superior to others
- How she spontaneously praises others for their qualities, without exaggerating
- How he deals with God in a respectful, loving way
- How she rejoices in others’ successes and achievements
- How he doesn’t need complicated, expensive toys to have fun
- How she does not need to be the center of attention or talk about herself incessantly
- How he listens to his friends, valuing them for who they are, not for their external achievements
- How she can acknowledge her own victories without getting puffed up or complicated

How can we teach simplicity to our children?

As parents, our example is our first lesson to our children. The way we talk, dress, ask pardon when we make a mistake, enjoy the simple things, celebrate others’ successes, and avoid criticism are all important. 

We can also engage in real teaching moments by showing our children how to enjoy the simple things in life, how to notice and celebrate the beauty of a flower, the scent of fresh-cut grass, the fun of an afternoon bike ride, the taste of home-baked chocolate chip cookies, the sound of rain on the roof…

Some other opportunities to teach simplicity can be:
- Encourage your children to spend time playing in the park or riding bikes instead of surfing the Internet or watching TV. Get them back in touch with the simple joys of life. Plan fun family outings where they can experience those simple things with you.
- If you make a mistake, don’t cover it up or pretend it didn’t happen. Instead, simply ask forgiveness—and encourage your children to do the same.
- Show kindness to others by listening to them and respecting them. When they are absent, speak well of them, and encourage your children to be kind in their words as well.
- Never judge others for what they have or for how they dress. Teach your children with your example to value the person first, no matter how they look.
- Read your children stories that reinforce the idea of simplicity, and reflect with them on how people can see through us when we wear masks or pretend to be something we’re not.
- Teach your children that it is not necessary to brag. Be proactive in giving them the praise and attention they crave so that they don’t have to fluff up their feathers.

“Sitting down, he called the twelve to him and said, ‘If any one of you wants to be first, let him be the least and servant of all’” (Mk 9:35-36).



Follow us on:   
Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

¿Deseas agregarVirtue 101: Simplicity a tus favoritos?
  -    No