Less is More

The other evening I saw two older women walking together. Their clothing was ill-fitting, mismatched, they had their possessions in push-carts that seemed to be used on a daily basis and it was obvious that walking was their main mode of transportation, save for perhaps a bus or possibly a vehicle owned by a friend or family member.

As I drove past them on my way home, I couldn’t help but notice the fantastic time they seemed to be having. One was talking and gesturing in an animated manner while the other was laughing incredibly hard, her head thrown back and lifted toward the heavens as though she wanted everyone to hear her happiness.

I don’t know where they were headed, but it’s not important. What struck me was that despite their lives likely only being filled with the necessary things and very little fluff, their joy was apparent. But when it comes right down to it, often times it’s the fluff that requires “more.”

More money spent on repairs. More money spent on the next version because the old is no longer good enough. More money dedicated to dry cleaning those expensives clothes made of finicky fabric we bought because we want to keep them looking good. More money spent on premium gasoline because our luxury cars demand it. More money put towards on gym memberships because we’re not forced to walk everywhere. More money spent on going out because others are going out and we don’t want to feel out of the loop. More money spent on things that will let others know we have money.

I understand these are broad statements and that they may not always be true. I understand there are exceptions. I agree that much of the above is avoidable. But they’re all what came to mind when I saw those two ladies. The more we have, the more we dole out, the more we want, the more we think we lack.

Today I am thankful for the reminder that much of what I have — my “stuff” — doesn’t mean that much at all, and how the important things in life include a friend to walk with, a laugh that can be shared, and allowing ourselves to experience the good that crosses our path.

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