My six-year-old daughter, Bo, had a short playdate this week. But it was long enough for her friend to plant lots of questions in her head about why she doesn’t have ‘exciting’ toys (in other words, toys that appear on advertisements), why she doesn’t watch a movie every night before bed and so on.
When Bo brings me these questions, I can only answer that everyone does things differently. I certainly don’t feel judgmental of how anybody else does it: it’s just a fact that we all make our own choices.
But I know that, as she gets older, I need to get clearer about why I want us to live with as much simplicity as possible, so that I can answer her with honesty and clarity. (As usual, my children are pushing me to get clearer on my own journey: I am so grateful for this constant push.)
And it boils down to the lines of this Rumi poem: 'There is a fresh basket of bread on your head, yet you go door to door begging for crusts.' Isn't that so beautiful? And so simple?!
I want us to live – as best we can – slowly and simply because otherwise our outer world – of too much, wanting more, distracting ourselves – only serves to feed the part of us that says we do not have enough - that we need more stuff, more experiences, more distraction, more busyness, to make up for the fact that we are not enough. That the Love that defines us right here, right now, is not enough.
And I know my children will have their own journey with this. I am under no illusion that I can save them from that. My daughter is only 6 and she is already beginning to wonder why we are not joining in with how the majority of people do things. What I can do is keep my spiritual truth aligned with the way we live our lives and create a foundation that way – a path that I hope they will be able to find their way back to at different points in their lives.
This is why I choose simplicity.