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When we moved out into the country over 20 years ago, I was determined to live the country life. If I had to drive 45 minutes to the stores occasionally for certain items I could not get in my immediate area, I would do so. It was part of the trade off of living outside the noise and squalor of city life in exchange for the quietness of the country.

And it was worth it.

I never understood the mentality of those who would move somewhere, then complain about where they moved.

Years ago, I used to fly private planes. As the area around the airport grew, we were forced to take off at less than ideal steep angles to keep from disturbing the neighbors.

But the airport was there before the housing built up around it.

To me, if the people who moved there didn’t like the noise of the airport, then they shouldn’t move there. It seems to be a simple option.

But in our world today, it seems that the majority of people want the world to revolve around them. It doesn’t matter if the life that existed before they arrived was different than their own. They just insisted that those who were the natives must change to the newcomer’s way of thinking.

A story…

Quite a number of decades ago, there were some explorers who had come across one of the last remaining tribes so far discovered in the world. These people lived off the land, owned nothing, and made everything they had.

One of the explorers offered to buy a hammock on which the chief slept. They would pay them big money for that bed.

The chief looked at them and asked, “Then where will I sleep?”

Western money meant nothing to them. Their medium of exchange was what skills they had in their hands. The tribe worked as a unit to survive, not unlike the Native Americans before the European colonists took over the land in North America.

One of the young men from the tribe expressed his curiosity about the western culture. He was invited to come to the United States for a visit.

So he came.

And in two weeks, almost starved to death.

Upon returning to his native tribe, he spoke of what he discovered.


The young man said he was sorry for the people in the modern culture. They had no place in their society. Each person had no actual place in their culture. And they fought each other to gain a place of recognition.

In his world, everyone went through rites of passage. They were celebrated by the entire tribe. And they were many in number.

They each had a place in the tribe. Their skills were honed and used for the sake of the whole. Each one had a part in making up the health and running of the community.

No one was left alone.


What can we take away from this story?

Like the city mouse and the country mouse, there was a recognition of the value of simplicity to this young man. In his observation of our busy world, he recognized that people needed a place to belong. They had a great need to fit in.

When we lose ourselves in our fight for acceptance, we lose sight of who we are in the human race. Too often we are tossed along in the maelstrom of our modernity without realizing what is missing.

The lure of luxuries and conveniences often blind us to the reality of what this life is all about. And only a few who live in the midst of this crazy world recognize their inner need for simplicity. Once in a while, they succeed in taking a much needed respite, camping in the wilderness or earning enough to leave the hustle and bustle of city life in exchange for living in a rural environment.

But too often, those who live with the amenities of their current life refuse to let them go.. Instead, they take their loud music, cry for their big grocery stores, demand high fashion stores to come along with them, invading the lives of those who want to live in peace and stillness.

True simplicity…

To live a truly simple life, one must desire to let go of what they perceive are their needs. So many vloggers and bloggers today are talking about living along a minimalist path. Many sell or give away up to 90% of their stuff to accomplish this goal.

As we have been packing to move farther away from the influx of the city, the task has seemed endless. It made us realize just how much “stuff” we collected over the years.

And how much we already had gotten rid of.

Realizing the task at hand, we rented a large dumpster. Throwing away old and broken items, furniture that was no longer salvageable, trash that the previous owners left behind, and all the excesses we’d collected over the years soon filled it to the top.

Simplicity is the willingness to let things go. And seeing the amount of boxes we’ve packed already, it was amazing to see just how much we still had left.

All of it was useful or used. Very few things were luxuries we could get rid of. (Although, I am not yet willing to get rid of my Keurig!) Yet we are still willing to cull what isn’t needed as we go.

The joy of moving it that it forces you to face the reality of all the junk and unnecessary items – the little decorations and stuff you never use that others gave as presents to you – that collects over the years.


Perhaps now is the time to reassess just how much stuff you have. Is it necessary? If it were put in a box and stored in the attic, would you even remember you had it 6 months from now?

It is good to take a hard look at what you have. If you were about to lose everything you had tomorrow, what would you miss? What is it that you couldn’t live without?

Take a quick assessment of what you actually have in your house, or apartment. If you had to leave it all and could take only a few things with you, now is the time to figure out what you can and should let go of. Maybe you know of friends, neighbors, or someone who is bad off financially right now who could use those extraneous things you’ve been hanging on to.

Think about it.

It doesn’t mean you need to get rid of everything. But it does mean that much of what we own isn’t really that important.

In the words of a great country song, “I’ve never see a UHaul behind a hearse”.

And we certainly can’t take it with us when we go.

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