Count your blessings

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Wanting less stuff leads to a fuller life

Taouba Khelifa 

Contributor


It really is true that the best things in life are free.


As children, we were often told to count our blessings and be grateful for what we had. John may have more toys and Susie a nicer bicycle, but we had other things we should be grateful for. Oddly, this important childhood lesson we’ve been taught time and time again seems to escape us as we developed into adulthood. Not only have we forgotten how to be grateful, but even worse, we’ve turned into greedy green-eyed consumers, devouring everything in our paths.


As adults, we’ve become accustomed to a new mantra: buy, buy, buy, mine, mine, mine. Gone are the years of “sharing is caring”. No longer are we content with the things we have – we need the newest gadgets and brand-name items. If our friends or neighbours or classmates have it, we need it too. Consumerism has become a cult of collectors spending hundreds of dollars every month collecting items they believe will complete their life or make them happy. 


But, through this entire jumbled “must-have” craze, we have forgotten an important and essential aspect of life: simplicity is a value that must be treasured. 


In our world, however, simplicity seems to be outdated and over-rated. Who wants a simple life when there is money to spend, things to buy, products to own? We don’t see simplicity as a treasure, it is a burden. Simplicity has been vandalized, turned into a shameful word where living simple is equivalent to being cheap. Yet, it is exactly this disconnect from simplicity that has turned our lives into such a disfigured mess. 



"But, what we must remember is that true blessings do not come in expensively wrapped boxes. On the contrary, simplicity brings with it priceless blessings that are more valuable than the world’s wealth."


 

Not only have we bought into the craze of filling our lives with things we definitely do not need, but even more heartbreaking, we have surrendered to marketing in such a way that now we must shop for our emotions and feelings as well. Happiness, comfort, health, and love are now on sale at Wal-Mart – each aisle targeting a specific emotional need, turning feelings into commodities that can be bought and sold. For just $19.99, you too can buy your dose of good fortune. 


But, what we must remember is that true blessings do not come in expensively wrapped boxes. On the contrary, simplicity brings with it priceless blessings that are more valuable than the world’s wealth. 


So, a word to those who are wise: chill out and just enjoy life for once. Forget buying and owning and wanting and needing. Just breathe and reflect on all that you already have – from the things that you own, to the people in your life, to the moments you’ve had the opportunity and privilege of witnessing. Because truly, it is in those moments of reflection where we can see just how easy it is to live simply, and perhaps gain a little humbleness while we are at it. 

   

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