Thursday, April 21, 2011

Simple solutions with "Simplicity"

We often hear “old is gold”. While going back into past, people always consider past time memorable in their life. They have many reasons in thoughts and perceptions to value past like pure and easily available food, fresh air, cool temperature etc. Among a wide range of songs collection, listening suddenly a song of 60s (mostly in case of the sub continent) someone might have said “aa ha”, thinking it evergreen song. Often people of past are considered simple with easy go life, happily living and helping each other, having less kind of diseases or often astonishing on hearing a new kind of disease with the first comment like “we never heard about this one before”.

In the present life of complexity around the advent of science’ wisdom, we can find people with simple life. For me, if the past was better, main reason behind it was the choice of “simplicity”. Very clear rule- live simply live easily… and this rule applied in the past, not only on materials but also on thoughts. People loved and cared for each other in our past always welcomed a life of happiness around themselves. They cared for nature; in return, nature was taking care of them. The way we live today, especially in cities, is the life of more challenging and less comfort, despite of what science has given to us in recent decades.

The same is the case for our environment. I simply don’t remember when I see butterflies last time. Traveling daily now a days from my home in Mansehra to my office in Abbottabad, looking at the labors busy on Karakurum highway, cutting down trees, mountains and the agricultural land along side the road I often think why we are widening this highway. To overcome the problem of increasing traffic jams? Are we really going to do this? It is not only the population bomb but also the wish to have own cars and move around. May be we don’t feel the need of widening roads, not by managing population only but to control vehicles growth, being unnecessarily increasing in everyday life.

People in cities enjoy sitting in cool AC offices and buildings, often never think about how hot it becomes for those who have to walk on the roads surrounded by such high buildings. Did we ever image a life without ACs now or it has now become impossible- credit goes to global warming- perhaps the man behind this warming deserve the credit. Certainly yes…

We can make our life happy. And the simple rule is simplicity! Turning off TV switch completely, rather than putting it on standby- otherwise still wasting 90% of the energy for the next month electricity bill. TV sets in each room would further decrease the chances a family can rejoice by having time together, instead of those having just one set at home for everyone. Often people living in villages grow vegetables near their homes and, if having no guests around, would happily love to cook self-grown food without any luxury arrangements. Such families migrating to cities or those already living there would rarely grow such food. In cities, they hardly get a space to grow (no water or to be honest no time in a machinic life).

Thoughts are powerful factors behind simplicity in life. Sometime status symbol force people to buy a car and travel around- to office… to shopping in evening… or a long drive. I loved seeing people in Bangkok traveling in trains over the busy and crowded roads. But I love more the life in my village people and friends either walking to shop daily or travel to other villages, all going together having a local transport. May be people argue with the advancement of science and facilities in making life easy but may not be able to see the kind of satisfaction around families and specially a sound sleep at night in village. Science found solutions of many complex diseases, but only rich get the benefits from this advancement. Poor always suffer… even they suffer from the consequences of degraded environment with the hands of rich ones…

More income brings more wishes. Simplicity is what we can find in sufficient income rather than more income. Sufficient income means a fair circulation of wealth among all, where poor are also able to meet their needs and this is what religion also emphasize as a right of all and the poor. Simple lives mean no wish for extra profit where care goes directly to both humans and the environment we live in. A green business may thus give a simple life, not although a big profit but a sufficient income which would care for both humans and our nature.

Water is a simple example. It is pure and simple in nature. The only way we make it polluted or wasted is bringing complexity around the environment. People construct buildings, establish factories, dispose of chemicals and garbage into rivers… People do this for more gains but this all goes against the simplicity of nature and limit the gains of many poor which they can secure in their hard lives. People waste water in many ways, from houses to businesses- using shower s, keeping tap open while brushing teeth, washing cars in showrooms, using huge water in construction, crops/livestock production… Simple life has lots of solution where we can protect water for our self and for everyone. Just reducing one time meat dish from our weekly diets can be of significant change.

Simplicity come with the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle. Having such habits in our daily life can really make a difference. We can limit our needs and our expenses if we can reduce the quantity of commodities that we simply don’t need. We can avoid plastic bottles and use traditional glasses (often very stylish) for drinking water. In both cases, need is to drink a clean water which is must for survival, not to show others! There are lots of items at our home that we can utilize for daily important needs, instead of throwing them out in streets. Choices are there in life and work- using home utensils in picnic rather than the plastic ones, planting a tree, make a home garden, keep aside curtains from window in day time to use natural light in room instead of light bulb, taking prints on both sides of paper, returning used batteries/electric equipments for recycling, before going to buy a new one…

Or simply having a nice walk for few minutes instead of using a personal car can bring beauty in life.

Simple solutions with simplicity…

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