Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I would rather have nothing, than have everything.


I would rather have nothing, than have everything.

I have always been a very simple person. Maybe sometimes too much so - but I would rather be too simple than too complicated. I am often a person of little words. In fact, on a day where I am not in the work place, I could speak 20 words the entire day and be perfectly content. 

This often leads some people to view me as aloof or to ask me if something is wrong, when in fact nothing is wrong at all. 

Simplicity bleeds over to other aspects of life as well. I have never needed much. I do not need anything fancy. I do not need (nor want) the most up-to-date things. I do not need the newest phone. I do not need the newest fashions (I do not think I have bought a new shirt in 3 or 4 years). 

In fact, I am not even comfortable having a lot. Perhaps that is because I never have. But I am damn thankful for that. 

I have always found there to be an inverse relationship between happiness and the amount of things that one has. 

Have you ever noticed that the happiest people seem to be the people who do not have much?

Have you ever noticed that the most giving people are those that have the least to give?

I feel more at home with those that have the least. 

I always will.

What are your thoughts on simplicity? 

191 comments:

  1. Lovely to hear from you, Keith! May your simplicity always bring you peace and happiness.

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  2. It sounds as if you are rich in all of the things which matter. Which money cannot buy.

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  3. Lovely to see you here again. I agree with you - the more we have, the more we want and that seems to lead to even more dissatisfaction!

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  4. Simplicity can be one of the greatest gifts. Being a good listener is one too. Less is definitely more.

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  5. I am a bit like you, nothing is better than having too much.

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  6. I like your post sir. You have a very good point. I wish I can realize this as much as you do. It's hard for me to internalize such point when you are surrounded with an advancing world :)

    trulyfionaa.blogspot.com

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  7. Simplicity - I think you have found the key that makes you most content in life. It is not the material things that make us the happiest, happiness comes from inside. It is nice to see you again.

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  8. Keith!!! Good to hear from you.
    I don't like a lot of things. (I do like my gadgets and guitars, but not other stuff. It just takes up space.) I'm also a simple dude.
    A generous heart comes in all forms, be it a poor or a wealthy person. Depends on what we do with it.

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  9. Nice to hear your "voice." haha
    Then you would be right at home in my surroundings. Having spent the first 15 years of my life in a depression, it has become my way of life. People say the great depression lasted only a few years. Not for those of us living in it..... 15 years is more like it.

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  10. This is rather funny - about a day or two ago after see a FB update I thought, I wonder if Keith still does his blog - and here it is.

    In answer to the question: I think it is a question that could only be asked in the safe knowledge that the asker will never have nothing. )if you see what I mean!)

    Cheers - and welcome back to blogland - Stewart M

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  11. Welcome back, Keith! (and thank you for finding & visiting my new blog :) I love simplicity, too. I don't like clutter. Hope all is well in your new home and glad to see you're blogging again.

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  12. Good to have you back blogging! You have a valuable insight. I have always used backpacking as my metaphor for life. You have to have equipment to enjoy but too much and you struggle.

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  13. ha, good to hear your thoughts again, I have a jacket my mom gave me more than 20 years ago a grey stretchey sweatshirt material one that zips up the front my favorite, it was made in the USA and has not worn out yet. I am now wondering how long it will actually last.

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  14. Welcome back to the blogosphere! And thanks for your kind comment this morning. :) We are hoping to be in Germany this August/September, but as yet our itinerary is full of visits with the family to introduce the little one.

    I would agree with your thoughts on simplicity. Since having a baby, I began to purge my closets and drawers to make room for baby things, but have found the whole process to be cathartic in and of itself. I've started cleaning out my whole life (in a manner of speaking) to get rid of the chaff and keep only the things that matter. It's such a feeling of renewal!

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  15. Hey, you're back, I'm so happy now :-) I consider myself to be pretty simple. I definitely don't ever want much. In fact I have money that my parents gave me for Christmas that I haven't used yet, because I don't know what you spend it on!

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  16. I so agree with you. Materialism is the curse of the modern world and the more I can get away from it the happier I am.

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  17. This really resonates with me, and consumerist clutter genuinely makes my head hurt.

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  18. Lovely words, OE. Aren't you originally from Kentucky? I'm here in Ohio, and I find a similar minimalist mindset in most folks around here...

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  19. Keith -- how nice to see you! I do agree with you. Even IF a person has material things, I do think it is the simple things of life that truly bring the most joy.

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  20. It's so nice having you back Keith. You may be a simple person but not simple of mind. You always have some thought provoking topics when you blog to make us think hard...

    I consider myself more of an old fashion gal than a simple gal. I like comfort, good food, good company, good wine to my taste, quiet solitude is wonderful to me, cleanliness and order is important to me instead of gadgets and the latest technologies. I'm happy that I have a nice big yard to play outdoor in the dirt and grow my own food in the summer.

    Too much stuff complicates my life and I'm constantly trying to declutter. I find the pace at which the world is going too fast for me. I love a slower pace.
    Happy Spring
    JB

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  21. Welcome back Keith! Yesterday I was thinking about exactly this. I won't go into detail but part of it was what I used to think when looking at my cat. He owned nothing, but he had shelter, warmth, companionship and food. What a great way to live. So free! I love being quiet. Not having to speak is the best kind of luxury. You sound like easy company.

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  22. I am all about simplicity!! (Unless of course we are discussing Christmas decor - then all bets are off! LOL!) We have never been a 'keep up with the joneses' family - less is more for us!!!

    PS .. saw a license plate the other day, made me think of you -- 'all4xmas' :)

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  23. You have to watch, or listen to John Maeda's TED talk on Laws of Simplicity: https://www.ted.com/talks/john_maeda_on_the_simple_life?language=en

    He is a code guy. His work was some of the first work that was called, "Eye Candy". Then he up and decided to go simple with his life.

    I'm kind of torn at times. I like my things. I love the idea of tiny homes, and being simple. The media advertises these things that I want though.

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  24. I think simplicity is a good thing. Not just in "stuff" but in activities too. We can be so busy and miss life altogether.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! It's great to see you. Happy spring!

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  25. Keith, yippee, you're posting again! I've missed you. I think simplicity is something I could move closer to. Your life in Bavaria sounds ideal to me.

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  26. Well done! I had a friend long ago who would often go days without speaking as most of what was said was considered bulls**t. He was right. A less complicated life can never be a bad thing.

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  27. Look who's back. About time at your shack lol had to.

    Simplicity works for me. I don't have much. But I'd like to have lots of money, in case crap happened lol stuff can go pound sand, pffft to keeping up with the jones'

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  28. Good to see you back!

    I have a love/hate relationship with stuff. On the one hand, I love my stuff. On the other hand, I'm well aware that stuff ties you down. The last time I moved I purged a great deal of stuff. I recently purged my closet. Purging is good. We become bogged down otherwise.

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  29. Simple things in life shed the excess baggage in life, Keith. Glad to stumble on your blog:)

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  30. Keith it is so good to have you back, I know you have been extremely busy learning German... I hope you are enjoying your new job ... I could not agree with you more, I am trying to get rid of things, I want to have so much less... it is overwhelming when we have too many things. Life would be simpler with less and we could appreciate what we have. I see my Valentina who has too much due to her papa buying her things and she doesn't appreciate what she has, she thinks she needs more... I disagree... A lot of my thinking has changed more with age as I come to understand through the years that things will never bring true happiness... xox

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  31. Keith, live in simplicity, have a minimum of desires, be content with only the most necessary - whether it is your credo? But perhaps you have a car, a decent apartment with amenities, a mobile phone with a variety of applications, even if not the latest model?
    Wish you a happy life in Germany, more do a bicycle, walking by foot to your office.

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  32. So lovely to hear from you Keith. I am so in tune with this post, I live simplicity naturally I think. You are so right, people that have less have more.

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  33. So good to have you back, Keith!

    I like simplicity and I love silence. People who are always running after (and blabbing about) the last trend or item and people who can't stand silent make me cautious. Almost afraid. There has to be something wrong with someone who isn't fine with her/himself and with her/his silence.

    That's why I'm also seen as aloof and the non-need for trends or even bothering to know what's the hype behind some much anticipated by few release is seen as snobbish. I couldn't care less. That's part of the growing up, I guess. You learn to love yourself more, taking care of you first and curiously instead of holding you aloof it brings you in more tune with others and those who have the least.

    Take Care,
    Teresa

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  34. Hubby and I go for comfort. We give a lot to many, but we are most comfortable. That's our measure.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  35. I certainly like to go out to the woods for a few days and not talk at all. It's really good to see you back posting again. I hope we continue to see you.

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  36. I absolutely adore quiet; a quiet house is a content house i do believe. I am a minimalist, I could get by with 3/4 less than what we have but I'm married to a recovering pack rat, so its hard to find that balance sometimes on what to keep, what to give away, etc. We can't take it with us when we pass, so we might as well use it while we are here and be as generous as we can be.

    betty

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  37. This really connects with me. It's not that I don't have stuff -- I do. And actually, I'm trying pretty desperately to cull through it all (tons of trips to goodwill), giving away what is worth giving and tossing things that should have been tossed long ago (or to quote Maria in Sound of Music regarding the dress she wore to the Von Trapps -- "The poor didn't want this one.") I look at people (often celebrities come to mind) who have more money and things than anyone else -- and then at their lives -- unhappy marriages, excessive living, hollowness. You are a wise man.

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  38. Love this post and love your way of living!

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  39. Happy to see you show up on my blogroll! And in my blog comments! :)

    When I'm quiet, people often ask me what's wrong, too. I just tend to like quiet, and to be quiet.

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  40. Looks like something I would have written. Thanks for visiting my blog. I just signed aboard yours.

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  41. Really resonates! Nice to see you back, Keith!

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  42. I was so happy to see you are back to blogging. I've missed your posts and comments. Happy to see both today. : )
    My needs are simple and I'm happy to be that way. I do like to talk a lot though. : )

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  43. You know, I completely feel the same way.
    I'm a vivacious introvert...I'm forever being asked if something is wrong if I'm not smiling, laughing or telling a story of some sort..I love being alone and quiet more.
    Hey! I haven't bought a new shirt in 4 years either! And I still have that same old flip phone from way back when.
    But, I do have adventures and memories to cherish. And a good camera. Hehe
    Everyday I see camaraderie in a group of people who do not have homes. They look out for one another...they are genuinely concerned & caring. They share things, and laugh a lot. They don't have anything and I never hear them complain.
    It's really great to hear from you again, Keith. :)

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  44. A few months back I went through everything we had and threw away the junk/donated the stuff we didn't need but was still good. Felt amazing. I like a clean, simple environment, and I don't need a lot to be happy.

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    1. I know the feeling. It's like somebody lifted a sack of coal off your back. But you have to keep doing it. A couple of times a year, maybe spring and autumn. It's enough.

      Pardon me for intruding ;-)

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  45. I have noticed that same phenomenon: stinginess among the very rich (though not all, but far too many), and generosity among those with very little. I think that's because those with little are more attuned to what matters, and those with too much become scattered inside.

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  46. So nice to see you at my blog. I'm much better thanks. My life now is very simplistic and I like it that way. I've had my "possessions " when I was younger but now it's all about me, the universe and happiness!! Good to see your post!!

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  47. Such an interesting read! I know I too feel better when on the simpler path

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  48. There are frequently days when I realize we are making life much too complicated. I could never go to the two suitcase extreme that you chose but simpler would be nice. Our older son is a man of few words like you. :)

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  49. Having everything is overrated. There's something beautiful and meaningful about simplicity.

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  50. This reminds me of a quote I saw recently that really made me think: "He is so poor, all he has is money."

    I think deep connections with people in our lives makes us wealthiest.

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  51. I've always been a very simple person. I rarely get wants, rather I get needs. Some people gets wants and rarely get the things they need. But people think they need that car they can afford and that house that can't even pay the taxes on. And not to mention all the stupid stuff they want at the store.

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  52. Hi Keith, I am a very simple person who has never had a lot, and I am very grateful for what little I do have. People focus so much on "things" as opposed to people and I find it sad.

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  53. I agree completely . . .
    The simple feels pure, unemcumbered . . .
    Outside in the gardens, hearing the birds sing, a child's first words . . .
    I think wants get caught up also with expectations . . .
    What does more give . . .
    Wonderful to hear from you . . .
    Thank you for your wisdom . . .

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  54. I'm pretty simple. Just read my blog.
    Is that what you mean?

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  55. I m agree and love you are happy ! Nice to heard from you.! !
    I love simplicity too :)

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  56. We don't need all that we want, but we shouldn't want for all that we need.

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  57. I feel the same way too ~ We are burden with too much material goods that we sometimes forget the simple ways of living life to the fullest ~ Good to read you Keith ~ Hope you are well ~

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  58. I am trying to be more on the simplistic plane. I feel that I have been always attracted to "stuff" that clutters up everything else (physical and emotional stuff), I agree that the better way to go is opposite of that. Good on you for honing your thoughts on all of this.

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  59. Simplicity has its appeals, but so does a few keepsakes. Simplifying our lives is important too.

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  60. We travel light in the end. lol I am a packrat unloading. But you are very right, you don't need so much to be happy. I think of many who are frustrated in their desire for more.

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  61. I think Joeh said it best.
    I'm glad you're happy:) Nothing trumps happiness.

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  62. I know right now I'm in a season which requires the appreciation of what I have more than ever. It was fantastic to hear from you Keith!

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  63. I agree entirely, I'm minimalist when it comes to possessions (except books and craft supplies) and as to talking, why use more words than you need? The world needs quiet people!

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  64. There is a great satisfaction in making do with a well-used minimum.

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  65. So there you are! You have been missed. Mother Theresa said the most generous people she met were the poorest of the poor. I'm a bit Thoreau-ish myself. My only obsession is books and luckily my Kindle lets me carry a whole library in one hand.

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  66. The more "things" accumulated applies a heavy weight on its owner. We'll be moving to a smaller house soon, and I wonder why all this stuff sits before me.
    You are absolutely right. Less is more.

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  67. I'm not into the latest gadgets either! We've had the same stereo systems for like 25 years. I'm sure my husband wouldn't mind updating them... ;) I am focusing on getting rid of stuff rather than getting more. I hope to keep things more simple in future.

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  68. Beautiful sunset! There is definitely something to be said for leading a simple life. Stuff weighs you down and clutters up your life. The more you have the more you have to maintain, store, clean, organize, and so forth.

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  69. I feel the same way Keith. I have seen it so many times were people that have less are more giving. The people that have more and put too much importance in it fear losing all they have and they are less giving. Less is more for sure. Glad to see you back...we have missed you!!

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  70. You've expressed my sentiments exactly.
    Great to see you blogging again!

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  71. Glad you are back :)
    I am not big on material things. I would rather use my money for experiences and travel. What's a house full of junk worth when you can enrich your life with the world around you?

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  72. So awesome to see you here Keith. I love simplicity too-we live as uncomplicated as possible here in our woods.

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  73. My life isn't as simple as I would like it to be. Having children means an accumulation of things but as they move out and get their own homes, I'm striving to get back to simple. Not much of a clothing horse here either.

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  74. I certainly prefer simplicity. There are a few things I would never give up, but there are many more that I would.

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  75. Good evening Keith. Thank you so much for visiting my blog (unamericanatragliorsi.com)! Your visit gave me the opportunity to get to know your blog, which is very interesting...I'm sure I will be coming back again soon! My thoughts on "simplicity" are very similar to yours. I too believe that happiness is not in what we have, but in what we are and in what we are able to give to others, even emotionally. I believe that it is possible to be happy with little. I am one who finds her happiness in a simple walk in nature, with my dog and my beloved husband. But I also believe that if you have too little, it can be very frustrating, especially if you have a family with children who have special needs. Thank you for the interesting reflection...My best wishes, Mary

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  76. Yay! I'm so happy to see you back, Keith!

    As for simplicity, since you know I'm a zen Buddhist, you know that Simplicity is something we strive for.

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  77. Simple simplicity is simply wonderful. It is how I live my life...my choice to do so.

    I can go for days without speaking with another person. I have my two furry mates Remy and Shama to talk with - they're always close by; they're the only company I need.

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  78. So true. Pity a few governments don't take this advice

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  79. Good to see you Keith. I saw a program on tv where the presenter lived with families in Mumbai. They were dirt poor yet he maintains they were the happiest people on earth. Happiness definitely isn't in things. It's in love of family etc. But I do prefer my home to an Indian slum all the same!

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  80. I am a person of little words too. Especially on car rides. If I'm the passenger I like to use that time to relax and notice the things I don't normally get to pay much attention to as I'm driving by. It drives my husband crazy sometimes because he's a talker. I love the way you think, Keith. You're one of the few who really gets it!!

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  81. I agree, those that have the least seem to also want the least. I read a quote recently which read "In England, even the poor believe they have rights - this is far more than what satisfies the poor in other countries."

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  82. I know what you mean about not saying much of anything. We spend too much time talking and acquiring stuff. I think the people who are the most giving realize that it's all just temporary anyway.

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  83. Indeed. I work at simplifying regularly. Perhaps spending time in our Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with only a few basics helps me understand thee essentials...:)

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  84. First, it's really nice to see you post again. I was beginning to wonder if you were going to be one of the lost. One who just one day went away.

    Secondly, I often say if I wanted complicated, I'd watch a French film ;p. Sure, I want adventure and entertainment, but what I seek I can find wearing a backpack and the clothes on my back and be content.

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  85. Was wondering where you had gone to, glad you are back. After my husband died 3 years ago, I purged a lot. I was left with no finances so had to sell the home and move into a small manufactured home. As I sorted through the 37 years of items, I realized that the items did not hold the memories, I did. Yes, I kept some special things, but did a lot of purging and giving to family and friends and in donations.

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  86. Nice to see you back Keith. The older I get the more minimalist I get. Less to dust or care for, more time and resources for other people, a bit of travel, and things that are experiential.

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  87. It was great to hear from you again. I hope you're enjoying your new wonderful life in Germany. :)

    I've never aspired to have a lot of "stuff," or a fancy house, fancy car, or whatever, and I am a very happy person. I don't think it's so much a matter of how much a person has or doesn't have as it is an appreciation and gratitude for whatever one has.

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  88. Hello Keith,
    Simplicity is my middle name. And I agree, it seems that the happiest people have less "things" than others. Having too much clutters the mind. Once in awhile, I'll get a little something for myself, but I'm happiest when I can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the nature around me. A very nice post today.

    ~Sheri

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  89. Hi Keith, Seeing your comment on my blog today made my day! Not exactly because of what you said … it was very nice … but because your comment gave me a link back to your blog again! You see, many months ago … maybe a year? … I tried to look at your blog and was told that I needed an invitation to view it. It seemed strange because I had been following you and commenting on several posts. Over time I tried several times to get back in or to find a way to send you a message asking for permission to follow, but could not find a way to do that. I never thought you would try to block me, so I chalked it up to some sort of technical issue. Anyway, it is sure good to see you again! Now, on this post, I am in full agreement with you … there is a lot of stuff out there I just don’t need. However, it is not unusual for me to find myself “wanting” something a lot, but we all know the big difference between want and need. I am a sucker for little tech devices … but have discovered, over time, a way to get along without a lot of those wants. I put things on a list and set a time to reflect on how much I want it. For example, I will put an item on the list and set two months for review time. What is amazing is that almost every time I do that I end up deciding I don’t really want the thing after all. So, I wonder what you think about that? Once again, great to hear from you and thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

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  90. How right you are! People who seem to have so much always want more and never are content with what they do have. They really miss the point I. Life.

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  91. Simplicity doesn't consist of greed or much judgement. My psychologist once said to a visit to Ethiopia, people literally did live in boxes, over packed population, etc. Yet they were happiest, most respectful, didn't ask for things.
    I get overwhelmed when too much luxury is given to me too.

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  92. So true. Though it becomes harder to keep life simple when one has children - popular culture hot-wires them to want more. Eventually, if you keep to your values, the kids seem to "get it". But it takes a lot of perseverance on the part of parents.

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  93. I agree - things don't make you happy, they just complicate your life with all that much more to take care of. Except books. You can't have too many of those :) Sorry I haven't been visiting - there seemed to be a glitch in connecting and I thought you had shut your blog down. Glad to see you are still here.

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  94. Yes, I agree. I think there's something to be said about humility and kindness. That combination seems to equate with complacency. When I traveled to Costa Rica years ago, I noticed that the most generous, happy people had so little by way of possessions.

    I've missed you, Keith. Thanks for dropping by. It's good to visit; sorry I haven't in ages.

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  95. So glad to see you back on the blog. I tried visiting a while back but the blog was gone.

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  96. Hi Keith - simplicity makes life so much easier ... we are not then chasing that elusive rainbow - we can see and appreciate others' rainbows - their smiles, their love and their achievements - we are content ...

    So good to see you .. cheers Hilary

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  97. Hello Keith!:) Lovely to see you again.:) I thought you had closed your blog, but it's good to know you haven't. Keith, I have a very comfortable life, want for nothing,.. can have most things,...but the things which make me the happiest are not bought, they are all free.:)

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  98. Hello and nice to "meet" you Keith! I have to agree with you when you say the happiest people are those who don't have a lot. I notice this all the time and it makes me realize that material wealth does not buy happiness at all! Have a great day.

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  99. Wise words Keith and I can relate to most of them. All except only speaking 20 words a day. As my blog name suggests Neesie Natters... I tend to talk - a lot!
    Beautifully captured sunset... who needs much when you can sit and enjoy scenes like that.
    Have a great week.

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  100. I think you've got it right! (Tho, I am a talker. I try to make it "beneficial", tho. LOL) And what a glorious photo.

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  101. Beautiful post, and I couldn't agree more. I have seen many more happy people in third world country simple homes and possessions than I see in the US. Content and grateful people can be happy with very little.

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  102. Yes! In the end it is not how much you owned that matters but who you were. But there are the rare people of wealth who genuinely give to all kinds of people--and not because of tax deductions. Whether a person's energy flows outward or inward doesn't always relate to finances. I think happiness is an unconditional choice, you know?

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  103. Minimalist all the way these days Keith :)

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  104. I'm living a simple life too, haven't handy, car, label-clothing or other status-things. Have only needed things, but they are to many. I haven't social contacts, so I must have all, what I'll need someday. Tools, hedgecutter and such stuff... Would rather share some needed things, but that does not work in a small stuffy place and if you do not know other people.
    I'm happy, when I must say no one word in the whole day - I'm autistic -
    I'm always enjoying the beauty and the little things around. Someone gave me his old, unneeded camera and now I can blogging :-)

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    1. PS: If I had a choice: a car, I would have! No new, only some. A car means for me freedom and have wings to reach places where I want to be. That is my big dream. To see more beauty, what is to far for an not so healthy woman with only a bicycle.

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  105. So nice to see a post from you! I'm 100% in agreement on this.

    I am a minimalist and an introvert, so very few things and even fewer words define me. We are kindred spirits, my friend :)

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  106. There was a time in m life when I was very materialistic. I had to have the newest and the designer. And I have the debts to prove it. Now, I'm paying off my debts because they are in fact mine and I should. I would rather use it and and wear it out before I replace. I am perfectly content to hang at home rather than spent wasteful hours doing wasteful things. People who think money buys happiness are among the most miserable people I know.

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  107. "I have always found there to be an inverse relationship between happiness and the amount of things that one has. " Way true. I wish more people would realize that.


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  108. Amen, brother! I can totally relate to you. I can go an entire day speaking less than 20 words, and not have a problem with it. It drives my husband crazy! And I don't need all the material things. I'm happy with very little. My family thinks I should have a job that pays a lot of money, so I can have a lot of things. But I'm perfectly happy with my job (teaching and performing music). I wish they would understand that!

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  109. Cent per cent resonation <3
    It's great to read a post from you after ages!!!
    Thank you!

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  110. glad to see you blogging again! i feel like in some ways i can be very simplistic as well (definitely with words, and could happily go a day without speaking, haha), but i also do like my things. not the newest things or expensive things, but i like collecting. i do strive to be more simplistic than i perhaps am, though! and it's true that often those that have the least are the ones that are the happiest in what they do have and in their lives. xx

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  111. Here you are Keith!! I like this post very much and I feel too many material possessions crowd out happiness. I love spare and simple and direct. There is a natural elegance in simplicity. Thank you for your giving post!! Hugs!!!

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  112. I do like keeping things simple, simple heart, simple mind, simple life. To strive to be the best kind of person I can be. Those are my goals. Of course, its not easy when life connects me with people and their somewhat complicated goals. But its worth striving for, every day is a new day to re-simplify.... p.s thanks for visiting my chicago photo blog. I hope to see you there again. Best wishes for a wonderful spring in Germany!

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  113. I like your thought process. Hardly people get it....mostly pretend to get it.
    The more we accumulate, the more we want to accumulate. and then life ends.

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  114. Hi Keith! Nice to hear from you. I agree simple is better :)

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  115. Interesting thoughts and perspective.

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  116. My feelings are mixed. Having nothing is really, really hard. Especially if you hadn't prepared for it. Having what you need, but not a lot more would be better. ;)

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  117. Great to have you back in blogland, Keith. Being content with your lot is something you can't put a price on - I love my simple life too.

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  118. Hi Keith. Nice to read your blog post. It's very inspiring and I agree - simplicity of life is what I want and I've been trying to collect memories, not things :-).

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  119. A beautiful post and a beautiful photo. Everything you said is right. Simple is best. The more some people have the more they want. They're never happy. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  120. This is a beautiful post Keith! This weekend a man sitting on the corner of the street tried to pay my friend to borrow a lighter, he was telling us that someone had just given a dollar to him and he had it to spare. It was truly admirable to see someone who was had nothing excessive, and when he received more than he needed he tried to give it back.

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  121. what can I say that the other hundred comments have not said? It is a fantastic post, so many people relate to it. I relate to it as well. It shares a universal truth, the happiest people have very little material things, what we really need is to be validated and loved. The world is a sad place this week and your post put a little bit of light out.

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  122. Came over from Biebkriebels. Your doing fine and lot more should follow your example.

    Coffee is on

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  123. I admire your attitude and agree that happiness is not related to wealth.

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  124. Yeah, me too. Simplicity is the best. We should always be grateful with what we have.

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  125. Yes it is an inverse relationship. The least one has the more one will share with others. Is it human nature lest the other deprived person gets to experience the pains we got before. Perhaps so! Great to see you back Keith!

    Hank

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  126. thanks for the comment! nice blog!

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  127. I've always been a simple person. I don't not need more or bigger or better. And I'm with you on silence. I've actually been called stuck-up because I don't feel the need to blather on. When I'm home, I don't listen to music, or watch tv. I don't feel the need to talk to anyone. I'm comfortable with myself. Sometimes I think maybe I think too much with all this quiet time. HA! But actually, when you quiet your surroundings, you quiet your mind, too. I've never slept better. And quitting my job in June was the best thing I ever did. I am definitely feeling the need to pare down and organize but that is a process. I have a big problem with getting rid of things that can be repurposed and yet I'm not repurposing what I save fast night so my husband thinks I've become a hoarder. The division of who has and who doesn't is getting bigger. More people, less jobs, crazy politicians. The world seems to be getting a whole lot out of hand. Thus the need for peace and quiet even more.

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  128. I'm asimple person but the simplicity doesn't extend to every aspect of my life. I'm a simple conversationalist at least. More of a listener than a talker, and I make every word count.

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  129. I can really relate to happily not saying anything all day, even for days on end! We lead a simple life compared to many of our fellow Americans (living on a sailboat kind of forces you to simplify), but I'm sure we could simplify even more. Cheers - Ellen

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  130. Good questions..."Have you ever noticed that the happiest people seem to be the people who do not have much?
    Have you ever noticed that the most giving people are those that have the least to give"...
    You're right in your observations. Simplicity, it can be seen as an answer!
    And we must be optimistic and positive for that! And I agree with Denise, too: "Less is definitely more."
    Many thanks and greetings to you! A Happy Spring!

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  131. Hi Keith, It's good to hear from you. Hope life is going well for you in Germany... Hope you enjoy teaching --if that is what you are still doing... How's the new bride? I'm happy for you --and hope fhat you are happy.

    I love simplicity also --but the older I get, the less money I have --and there is so much more traveling I want to do before I die... SO---totally living the simple life is not always easy when I still WANT-WANT-WANT.... ha ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  132. thanks for stopping by and saying howdy...appreciate it..
    life is complicated enough without people making it more so..simple is good..

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  133. As someone with too much (in the house), I can envy the simplicity of not having. It becomes a burden. You can't have too much health though.

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  134. I quite agree with you, because I am also a simplicity seeker and I want things to simple and neat. I don’t go behind anything that isn’t my need and I think the things don’t sustain happiness and sharing is the most rewarding after all!

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  135. Yeah, the more stuff I have, the more time I spend trying to find it under all the other stuff I no longer use. Trying to find my stuff takes up the greatest part of my day.

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  136. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the trouble to leave a comment. I also enjoy simplicity and lack of ambition. This has led to unexpected benefits in my case. My phone is 13 years old, the same age as my car. I wouldn't have a car if I lived alone. I check my phone about once a week. I can remember my mother going to the telephone booth for 15 minutes once a week. That's all the phoning that was required. Today on the trams and trains I see people constantly phoning and texting. Mainly young people. Some of the, check their phones 500 times a day. It's a sickness. It has a name. It is fomo

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  137. Fomo means frightened of missing out.

    Cheers, prosit, ciao!

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  138. I almost missed this, being in the hospital a couple of days. I agree with everything you say here and its good to read your thoughts again.

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  139. Lovely post Keith and good to see you back! Definitely agree, sometimes it's nice just to be and enjoy the little things. - Tasha

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  140. This is so true: "Have you ever noticed that the most giving people are those that have the least to give?"

    This is a lovely post. :)

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  141. It put a smile on my face to read a post from you! Contentment is a blessed thing. Great to "see" you!

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  142. I think you're right, Keith. Those who have little seem the most content in life. I have a friend who says very little but when he speaks, people know to listen because it's going to be important.

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  143. Hello Keith, hubby and I lead a life as simple as we can. We do not have a lot compared to others. We enjoy experiences and enjoy the simple things. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    Happy Easter!

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  144. Love this topic. I agree with you, I would rather have nothing than everything. I've been spending a lot of time wrestling with this idea of life in my yoga and meditation for what feels like forever now. I just can't seem to grasp how I got so lucky as to have everything. I could easily have been born in a third world country, if that's what life had in store for me. But because I'm here, I wonder why. Why did I get so lucky? What am I here to see? Am I just here to witness the indescribable pain that human kind inflicts on each other, on animals, on the planet? What is the point of all this pain? And why don't other people realize what's going on? How can they cheer on someone like Trump, who bares so many striking similarities to Hitler? How can they want to keep desperate mothers and children out of our country where they wouldn't have to live in fear for their lives? How can they not want every child to be warm, fed, and loved?

    I'll never know how people cannot seem to feel compassion for all life, for it seems to me that not ONE living creature deserves to live in a cage, tied up, chained up, experimented on, or tortured. It seems to me the more you have, the less you care about those struggling. Not sure if this is an entitlement issue, or a survival tactic so they don't go crazy thinking about all they have and those who have nothing.

    I'm sure my internal struggle will continue as long as I'm alive. And like you, I'll continue to feel most comfortable and want to associate with those that have the least. Or at least those that have an ounce of compassion.

    Glad to see you back Keith!

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  145. "The greatest wealth is to live content with little" - PLATO. I consider myself low maintenance and simple. I don't need fancy things to measure my worth with. Growing up in Europe, having little was ample. I enjoy people, but need time alone and quiet to recharge my batteries.
    I love your photo, it's beautiful in its simplicity. Thank you for visiting my blog. Frohe Ostern!

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  146. What an interesting post. I think I live a fairly simple life. I don't buy lots of new clothes (though I recently picked up a few things at a thrift store). I don't own a cell phone (which is very freeing). I tend to believe that less is more. :)

    Have a lovely day!
    ~Jess

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  147. Hey Keith!
    At first, let me thank you for your comment on my last post! (:

    I can completely relate to the things you said!

    If I got too much things, it feels like they are drowning me somewhere I just can emerge from by throwing stuff I dont't need away.

    I grew up in a humble circumstances, maybe this is the reason I don't need everything new, up to date or "trendy" (etc.), because I early learnt how to live with little and be happy about it anyway.

    I rather spend my money on experiences than on things, experiences last forever and change you, where new things just give you the wrong feeling of happiness.

    And to your "Have you ever noticed that the most giving people are those that have the least to give?" - question: I absolutely did!!!

    Such a beautiful and inspiring post, thank you for that!

    Frohe Ostern! :D

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  148. great to see you again! and your wonderful take on life - i agree, simple is better and less is more! but you said it better =)

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  149. Yes, so good to see you again, Keith...you have been so missed!
    I can only echo your words here...I feel exactly as you do. I need very little to make me happy...including words.
    People continually ask me if anything's wrong, as I say very little when I'm content. I could never see the sense of using many words when just a few mean so much more.
    Silence is precious...:)

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  150. Many thanks for stopping by Pen and Paper, it was good to meet you.

    A somewhat simple soul myself. Like you I do not need the latest nor do I particularly need the best. In fact I get terribly upset for the people that do, for those that need to buy the latest, often at great expense, not because there is anything wrong with what they already have but merely to have the latest 'thing'.

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  151. I've missed your blog!! Lovely post. I agree with you that having nothing is much better than having everything -- I think we tend to appreciate the most important things more when we have less. Our capacity to feel joy is not necessarily measured in the amount of things we possess, rather in the amount of gratitude we feel for what we DO have.

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  152. Hi Keith, It's great to see you! I agree that in many instances less is more. Now if I could only practice what I preach when it comes to portion control!

    Julie

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  153. Things take parts of my brain, to manage and when I get stressed, the first thing I do is get rid of anything I haven't used in awhile. I have what I need, a roof over my head, my books, my cats, food, clothes. Moving can certainly also make one realize how little one really needs and that too much stuff is dead weight to lug.

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  154. It's good not to get too attached to "stuff." We can't take any of it with us when we leave this world. My father sometimes tells us the story of when he was a teenager and got a job working for a very wealthy man, Mr. W., who was in his 70s. He owned a couple companies, had a beach house, a penthouse, a beautiful young wife, and a limousine; but Mr. W was the most unhappy man he had ever met. Money can't buy happiness. Happiness comes from peace with God, love, and kindness to others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Good topic.

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  155. Yeah I've found that happiness doesn't lie in how much you have, but in what you do with your resources.

    Nice to see you on my blog. :-)

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  156. I think advertising has pushed us onto the wrong track. "He who dies with the most toys wins," they say. People accept that success is having lots of STUFF! But if we get a lot of stuff, we have to give it away or it becomes a burden.

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  157. You know, for a little while I couldn't access your blog. It was quite depressing but I'm glad it's over with now.

    We're on a constant quest for simplicity. With 4 kids, I have to be. It's so easy to get over scheduled while thinking we have to keep up with the neighbors. Whatever. We find the most joy by keeping life light and having the freedom to hang out and laugh at our toes if we want to. (Not that we're ever that lazy, but hey, it's possible.)

    Crystal Collier

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  158. Thank you for visiting my blog. I, as well, love simplicity. We've been doing some major simplification of our physical belongings over last year. It's quite nice to get rid of the extra things. It clears our mental space as well as the physical space in the house.

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  159. Love that you're back Keith - you have been a big miss. I too love simplicity and do not crave possessions. I know I am an introvert - but a happy one. But tis true when needs must - I am a happy 'extrovert'. I really do like people but also place great value on happy solitude.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  160. The antidote to anxiety is clarity. Simplicity enhances clarity. I totally agree with you.

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  161. Simplicity is vastly intricate. And it takes many peeled layers to reveal it.

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  162. I love my simple life and I'm so glad to have found someone who feels the same way.

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  163. Oui, c'est vrai, la vraie générosité vient du coeur !
    Merci d'être passé au Jardin de Titi et d'avoir laissé un commentaire très aimable !
    Cette belle lisère au soleil couchant ressemble aux miennes...
    Très bonne journée de printemps.

    Mon autre blog
    http://emprises-de-brises.over-blog.com/#fromadmin

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  164. __As some, I too follow that ancient Japanese ethic:
    -less is more-. "Tropheys need to be dusted." _m

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  165. Hey Optimistic Existentialist,
    and big thank you for your comment at 'Varjoalitajunta' (aka 'Shadow subconsciousness')!

    Yeah, it's somewhat an unknown habit to wake up before the alarm. It's kind of a cool thing to do, but at least for me it's also a bit disturbing why do I do it that often. And also thank you for your compliment regarding of my writing style. I hope the text translated nicely! :) I hope you enjoyed what you saw and possibly will enjoy in the future aswell. Just let me know if you have some translation wishes. :)

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  166. I admire your feeling on simplicity. I too can be quiet and sometimes that has been interpreted differently. Thank you for visiting my art.

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  167. I admire your aesthetic. Sort of Buddhist. I identify as an introvert, with lots of pursuits, so I enjoy my time alone. Interesting topic. xo Su

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  168. Hello from Boring, Oregon, Keith! Thanks for introducing yourself to me through your blog comment on my blog, One Saylor's Log.

    I have spent the last hour scrolling back through your posts to get to know you through your blog. I admire your thoughtful style and provocative post ending questions. To gather what your might mean by aligning yourself with existentialism I looked up definitions of existentialism and will be interested to read more about how you view yourself as an Optimistic Existentialist.

    I see myself as a being who has free will and chooses to use my free will to see the universe as created by the great Three-in-One loving God who I am growing to know as heavenly Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. My passion is to live in a loving, creative, faith inspired way that encourages me and others to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

    While I prize simplicity, I wrestle with having and using excess daily.[books, paper, food]. Your leanness of possessions and your generosity in loving and caring for others inspires me to follow your good example.

    I look forward to reading your blog and typing back and forth!


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  169. I agree and i aim for simplicity. There are two exceptions, you can never have too many books and if you make crafts, you can never have too many crafting supplies, though even there, i have limits really

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  170. Having seen a few episodes of that TV show Hoarders, I can easily infer that having many material items does not equate having that many units of happiness. Sometimes having too much stuff can actually cause stress and unhappiness, I've seen.

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  171. i am a chatter, a talker...a woman of many words, i feel rich in that way. personal possessions mean nothing to me!!!

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  172. and your image is really stunning!!

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  173. So glad to see you again. I also look for simplicity, but in my case is more related to attitude, mind frames and the way I try to approach life. Don't get me wrong I don't have tons of things and I don't need to be always buying, either. I try to have only things that I need or I love.. however I don't feel attached to my possessions...

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  174. Just when I thought you were never coming back, here you are! The simpler life is the better.

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  175. You are wealthy in what really matters.

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  176. I have totally the same thoughts and feelings. If I had so much, I'd have to be so busy taking care of it, I wouldn't have time to take care of others. Blessings, Janet

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  177. I like what you've said here. I totally relate. Regarding material things, my goal is a nearly empty room. Just the bare essentials. Like modern art. :)

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  178. I totally agree with you. We live simple too here in our part of the woods. We have collected allot of "stuff" through the years-older items that makes us happy-cast iron and crocks from the past for example, and love all my craft "stuff" but very limited in the tech stuff-desk top computers-no cell phones. simple land line phones no caller id or any other stuff on it.
    I do get concerned as I run into the new generation who only seem to live life other than simple

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  179. I enjoyed reading your post. I am grateful for what I have, especially a loving family.

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  180. I stopped by to leave a short comment of appreciation and became lost in the beautifully expressed wisdom of your words. Post after post of heartfelt common sense. You understand the complexities of the human heart and describe them well. I have a life cluttered with "stuff" I think I need - purchased mostly out of nervous boredom. In my heart, I know I would be happiest with the barest necessities - although art supplies would have to remain because of the creative outlet they provide.

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  181. I'm happy with a cup of tea, a book, and my cats. I don't like going out shopping or for expensive entertainment. I'm a pretty simple creature! I think being happy with the little delights in life--an unexpected postcard in the mail, or a beautiful sunset--shows you appreciate life more. And it makes you more joyful, because there's ALWAYS some little thing that will pop up in the day to surprise and delight you! I could make lists every evening of all the little things that made me happy that day and almost none of them will have to do with money or a material good.

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  182. I am a minimalist; I do not let possessions define me. I am comfortable with what I have, I do not covet what others have. I am not trendy. I do not have all the technology gizmos and don't want them. I don't watch tv. I am content with my life.

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  183. Decades ago I read Margin by Richard Swenson, in which he writes about his time as a physician in undeveloped countries as a short-term aid worker. He noticed that though they were poor and often sick and suffering, the people who had the least were much happier than those "back home" who had such overtly abundant and comfortable lives. Most of the book is about principles of living that we might extract from their lives and apply to our various situations that don't allow us to transform completely into a third-world peasant. It sounds like you have learned all about this, and are able to encourage other people in the quest. Thank you :-)

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  184. Keith! Isn't it fabulous that I am the 191st person to chime in....oh, I know I responded to this in March, but I thought I'd check back in with you and Beate.
    I am especially loving the re-reading of when you said ' I could say 20 words a day' and be happy. Me too! Me too!
    So, with that...i am done talking. :)

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