Monday, April 18, 2011

Why Is Life So Complicated?

I remember when I was going up in the 50’s and 60’s, life seemed pretty simple. We went to school and to work, came home, spent time with family at dinner and watching television. If a problem came up, like plumbing, illness, conflict, it was resolved. I look around today, even at my own life, and it all seems so complicated. No one is at peace, everyone is dealing with something ongoing or a multitude of things at once. You can’t cross anything off your “to do list” and keep it off, and somehow I am always adding new things to it. It’s tiring.

Everything today is more complicated. Relationships are a matter of simply dating till you find the person you want to spend your life with. People date, live together, break up, write pre-nups, divorce easily, remarry, cheat, lie etc etc. More and more women work outside the home. Children are being raised at daycare or by a babysitter. There is no consistency for them. As they get older, they practically have to raise themselves while both parents are working. Many are being raised by single parents. It is any wonder that they turn to friends for support and guidance and acceptance? No one pays with cash any more. We have credit cards to get us into financial ruins. No one is saving or planning for retirement when they have mortgages, loans and credit cards in addition to all the other standard bills. We have added bills for cell phones and cable which are a necessity today whether we can afford them or not.

The country trying to climb out of an economic crisis. Years of out of control spending and lending had us on the verge of economic collapse. Instead of working together to get us back on track, our political parties will not agree on the best ways to solve our problems.

Look around. The world is a mess too. We never know if we will wake up and be in another war. We are still dependent on foreign oil. The weather patterns are changing for the worse. We are seeing more natural disasters every day. It’s happening everywhere too, so there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

With all the progress we have made in science and technology, we seem to be worse off than we ever were. I would give anything to give up our advancements and go back to a more peaceful, blissful existence.

Years ago, I was struck by the very peaceful existence of the Amish people. They live very much like the characters on Little House On The Prairie do. It’s a minimalist way of life. They have a couple of plain outfits each. No electricity. They work hard from sun up to sun down. Church on Sunday. Everyone has chores and pitches in. If your barn burns down, the whole community comes and helps you rebuild. Horse and buggy instead of cars. It’s so simple. They don’t need exercise programs because they work hard. They don’t need diets because they eat healthy, fresh foods. They aren’t materialistic. They have good, old fashioned family values. I was very impressed by what I heard and saw. They say our society is more advanced than theirs is. I say our advancements have set us back from all that is important. They haven’t simplified our lives, they have complicated them. And we are stuck in it. They have the peace and security of knowing what to expect every day, we live in a chaotic world filled with stress. And it looks like it’s only going to get worse.

Life doesn’t have to be complicated, but we are making it so.

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