Culture | Lifestyle

Simplify, Now Seems A Good Time

“In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds.  Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thoreau would be shocked at the busy-ness of 2020 versus compared to the thousand-and-one items in the middle of the 19th century. The world has other plans for us every year, but especially this year. The gods (or God if you will) laugh(s) at plans we make, no matter how well-intentioned, and we all learn to adjust on the fly. That’s life in a normal year, amplified by the madness that is 2020. With apologies to all the experts on Twitter and talking heads everywhere, in this madness, I look to poetry, to stoic philosophy, and to Thoreau for a level-set. Thoreau’s advice to simplify resonates. Granted, it’s a bit late in the game for a cabin in the woods, but to step back a bit and re-assess. Simplify. Now more than ever.

“The overwhelming reality is: we live in a world where almost everything is worthless and a very few things are exceptionally valuable. As John Maxwell has written, “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” – Greg McKeown, Essentialism

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