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
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
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
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
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
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
- 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.
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).