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Simplicity – 9 June 2006

The other day I was looking through some papers when I came across this quotation:

“Our lives are frittered away by detail. …simplify, simplify.”
Henry David Thoreau, American Author (1817-1862).

If Thoreau thought that lives were complicated in the nineteenth century, how would he react to today’s frenetic pace?! For several years I’ve been trying to simplify my life, so this advice grabbed my attention. Right away I thought about other authors who have voiced similar counsel, and I remembered that I had written a poem, Simplicity.

Here is another quotation concerning simplicity:

“Simplicity is freedom, not slavery. Refuse to be a slave to anything but God.”
Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Revised Edition (New York; Harper & Row, 1988), p. 91.

The following two poems also speak of simplicity; the first one is by Emily Dickinson and the second one is mine:

How happy is the little stone
By Emily Dickinson

How happy is the little stone
That rambles in the road alone,
And doesn't care about careers,
And exigencies never fears;
Whose coat of elemental brown
A passing universe put on;
And independent as the sun,
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute decree
In casual simplicity.

By Mary T. Hoffman

I never thought I’d live to see
Myself embrace simplicity:
A lifestyle free of worldly woe
(I’ve let the little “gremlins” go).
Now full of joy and worry-free,
It’s taken years to just be me!

Stronger now, by far, in health,
A vegan life confers a wealth
Of benefits so real, so vast,
Its promises have been surpassed:
Each day is brighter than the last!

For more quotations, see: 

For more poems, see: 

For more of my poems, see:

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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