Not too long ago, there lived people whose lives consisted in raising food, raising children, and raising a roof over their heads. In this far away life, the greatest stresses that they had to endure were:
1.) Would the food they preserved and stored be enough to last them through winter?
2.) Would disease, injury, or accident take one of their own?
3.) Would natural disasters or war destroy their property or their homeland, thus their way of life?
4.) Would their wells run dry?
There were always family, friends, community, and churches to rely on and to help them through hard times. Those who could not survive would die, leaving room for others to take their place on the planet. There were no medical interventions such as life support systems, no Social Security benefits, no welfare, no unemployment benefits, and no technological advancements, which put sticks in the cogs of human morality and ethics.
Life was simple.
People lived and died, and those who lived back then were not afraid of encountering either one. They lived hard lives, but fulfilled them with amazing accomplishments with survival skills and architectural wonders that have not been able to be duplicated since. And they didn’t run from death or hard work.
Man lived fulfilled. He kept his sense of wonder and Faith. His eyes were focused on the hereafter, not on what he could acquire on earth. His life was simple. Man’s focus was simple. And his Faith was simple. The world spun around throughout history watching man run his course of simple living.
Man essentially has not changed since he first dotted the landscape at the beginning of creation. He still worries about survival. How much food does he have? Can he keep the roof over his head? Does he have enough to bear out the hard times? Does he have what it takes to raise healthy children? Will a disaster befall him leaving him destitute?
What has changed?
The concerns remain the same. It is what man deems necessary to survive that have changed.
A while back, someone wrote that electricity has taken the place of water in our modern life. Without it, life as we currently know it would perish. But if it were gone, we would not die. Unlike being without water.
As I sit here at my computer composing this article, I have to agree somewhat with that idea. After all, what would we do it we did not have computers to instantly be in touch with our friends and relative? How would be get our news? Where would we find out the latest way to do something?
We have forgotten what it was like before we sent instant messages, emails, instagrams, or tweets. Facebook and YouTube have replaced our ability to converse with another human being.
What was it like to not have access to voice and video communications? How did we get along when we were so far away? Even snail mail has been sped up thanks to electronic mechanisms to sort and automate delivery.
Even emergency communications alert us through our cell phones to to approaching bad weather, kidnapped children, and disasters anywhere around the globe.
And heaven knows what we’d do without our central heating, air conditioning, and refrigerators. Especially in hot and/or humid climates around the world!
As I rapidly approached a time in my life where I no longer held a steady paycheck, I realized that our society has changed its priority from electricity to money. in our current society, money, more that just electricity, truly makes our world operate. Without it, man cannot even purchase food or the seeds let alone the water and planting mediums to produce his own food. He depends on his grocery stores, deep freezers and refrigerators to keep meats and vegetables over the long term.
And without money, he has no means to pay for the electricity to run these storage units.
Without money, he is unable to keep the roof over his head. Even if his house is paid for, there are taxes to pay. Unpaid taxes results in no roof over one’s head.
And what would he do if he didn’t have enough money to own, operate, and repair his modern means of transportation? Even a bicycle needs to be kept up, and shoes to replace if walking is the only option.
The modern dilemma
Let’s not forget how modern man deals with the unexpected events that occur in our lives.
A person has to pay for various types of insurance to help him reestablish his life in case of a crisis. He is also required to have enough to pay for the insurance to help him reestablish his life in case of a crisis. Should a disaster strike, then he must have enough to pay for the deductible when a disaster actually befalls him.
And that’s only if the insurance policy would even cover the expenses needed to recover.
Add to the mix the need to work within the myriad of government rules and regulations that add to the complexity of truly live a simple life.
Instead of being able to simply open up a lemonade stand or rent out a room, people are now embroiled with the complexity of bureaucracy. Massive regulatory hoops and licensing fees must be met, depending on the local zoning.
The yearning inside all of us
In spite of all this, there is still a yearning inside each man to live the simple life for which he was made.
Humans are now enduring other stresses never before encountered in the whole history of mankind. He is stuck living inside with comfort control systems keeping him from experiencing the elements from his earthly home. He is subjected instead to the constant glare of fluorescent or LED lights without ever seeing the sunlight of day.
Mankind feels the weariness of just keeping up with the demands of everything life now throws at them. Many of these are artificially produced pressures of living beyond his means (often incentivized by big tech and advertising) and keeping current with latest technology. He lives in overcrowded conditions (apartment and condos high-rises, high-density subdivisions, etc.), often driving for hours far from his home through nightmare traffic jams.
The fear of losing his or her job, it is no wonder that man has lost the ability or even time to fulfill his deepest yearning for a truly simple life.
The question we will cover in the next part will be this…
Can man truly achieve a simple lifestyle living in these demanding, modern times?
Check back for the conversation to continue…