The simple living

READER’S VIEWS - Renester P. Suralta - The Freeman

Modern research says that money can buy happiness. So many people work hard for the money. They engage in business, work overtime and take courses that offer high salary. The spirit of consumerism promotes the idea that man should strive hard to earn and buy things to keep up the Joneses and live a happy life with a big house, a luxury car and money in the bank.

But along with this quest for more material things is the terrible price to pay and the sober reality at the end of the day. Material wealth will not ensure individual success and happiness. Material success will not guarantee personal satisfaction. It is because materialistic people will become anxious and apprehensive without peace of mind. Being well-off can be a double-edged sword. Happy but insecure. The worst thing to happen is when you are ill-dying and cannot enjoy the fruit of your labor.

In the last words of Steve Job on his sick bed, he said, and I quote:

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is the epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth I took so much pride in have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.” He died a billionaire at the age of 56 of pancreatic cancer, down and disconsolate.

While there may be some truth in the recent study that happiness for most individuals increases with higher pay but to varying degrees. The study added that if someone is rich and miserable, money will not help. Such is the tragic fate of the Apple Computer founder.

If money will not guarantee happiness, how does one live? Ancient people had all the answers to these old question. The answer lies in religious and spiritual teachings-- of simple living.

Simple living refers to practices that promote simplicity in life. It practices reducing the number of possessions, depending less on technology and services, and spending less money. It focuses on fewer commitments, mindsets, and beliefs.

Simplicity was one of the primary concepts espoused by Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism. Gautama Buddha supported simple living as a central virtue of Buddhism.Jesus is said to have lived a simple life. He encouraged his disciples to take nothing for their journey except a staff, no bread, no bag, and no money in their belts. (Mark 6:8)

Simple living can ease anxiety and reduce stress. It promotes a healthy lifestyle. It lessens things to maintain and worry. It gives priority to important things. It saves money and bills. It leads to more rewarding experiences. It teaches us the value of gratitude and happiness. It helps you connect to the world around you. Simple living is not a perfect life but a life free from complexities, vanities, and worldly desires you can live without.

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