Simple things are often taken for granted. A neglect here and there could turn simple things to complex things even a challenge. Indeed, it is rewarding to be conscious, less we jump on a bandwagon that does not pay handsomely.
Let us think through some simple things. Perhaps, there could be things to learn. Possibly, we could adjust in the way we take simple things. What do you think?
How do you read and write? Many were taught this in the elementary, primary and secondary school even at tertiary levels. After many years, what do we observe? If we are humble, we come to a realization. We do not know so much as we thought. Moreover, we may not have put in as much as we should to know and do things. But we reassure ourselves we know enough. Yet, others on the sideline could see some indications of our limitations. But we continue to be satisfied because it is convenient for us to assume there is nothing to do at this point. That is not true. There are many things to do. Hone your skills again. Let your heart take it as your ears hear. Tell the truth to yourself “simple things though simple are not always as simple.” Attention should be paid to simple things next time. When we do, we could do better.
How do we eat? We are taught by parents how to eat in various cultures. We follow the direction on how to eat, when to eat and drink. As we grow, we assume it is simple. No conscious thought again.
“Just drinking of water?”
“Eating is simple.”
Then, circumstances of life begin to beep. School, work and freedom to choose regularly challenge us. There is a whole new world in one’s hand. A lot in other people’s hand including the food we eat. How to eat it and when to eat. Yet simple, but it is no longer simple. At some point we come to know it. There is much to know. The way to know it and do it right to save ourselves from ourselves! A little neglect of this basic becomes a trend in life. What a challenge from a simple thing?
How about the common knowledge that we should drink good water always? It is simple. We drink water for many reasons. We take it too when we are under pressure to meet apparent demands from the body especially when such are at breaking point. At that juncture, we are being harmed by shortage of water in our system. At a point the need may simply be to quench our thirst, but other needs and pressures arising from distressed organs may not fully be met by taking other liquids thought to be close substitutes. It may take a while before the body on high tension is brought down to the cool valley of life by simply taking the right quantity of good water. We can blame many things, even cold temperatures that perhaps give misplaced confidence. We are not on the issue of what is responsible. We are simply reminded that simple things are not as simple as we often assume.
For the millennials, there is another simple thing that could hit them below as they grow. It is the understanding of the importance of space (not outer space) in human affairs. It is unusual subject for youths. How many teenagers outside courses in law, estate management, architecture, building, civil engineering and others that deal on space will on a normal day start a discussion about space. Safe for some locations where there have been generational issues on it. Space is not what occupies the thought of young ones. Carry a random interview and your shocking find will show that space is not any interesting subject in their minds. Space is a simple thing taken for granted as we go on in our daily activities. From today, as you walk the street of your communities, start to observe houses and shops built on little spaces and what they have turned out to be. What of abuse of space? As you think, extend your searchlight. Also think about government regulations related to space and other concomitants in order to have a lasting peace. Space is a simple thing but not always simple.
Personal order, call it personal organization is another simple thing. A lot of effort is put in early years in this grand project. Some parents begin with words and action including punishment to make impact. It is a battle for parents, teachers and managers to work out consistent link between the talk and walk. After a while, the battle moves to the individual himself. Early lapses that are unchecked become habits that die hard. A simple process of joy now is not as joyful later because immediate action and continuing attention were disregarded. What a lesson in ensuring learning and continuing to do it well? That makes it simple all the time.
Our foray on simple things is to take your mind to some things thought to be so simple. It reminds of one’s folks story whenever one wants to prove competence even wizardry. After mouthing claims of knowledge, understanding, wisdom even discernment, Dad would laugh. He would pause. He will remain calm. He is working on effect. Ones excitement in ascending order is not crumbling as such but slowly moving to a homeostasis. That is what he wants. A balance. When he sees one in this plain, he reminds one of the Okiri story.
Okiri is a black bird that sings in syllables – amu lu maa, amu lu maa. It means “I know it.” “I know it.” I know it”. The bird’s chirping makes some locals opine that Okiri is always in a hurry to make a fantastic claim of ” knowing too much” or “knowing it all.”
Is the story driven home? There are many simple things we claim to know and do. We think we do it well. It makes us to stop learning how to do it better. As time and circumstances change, we need to remind ourselves to learn to do it well again. Take a look again at one simple thing you know. Many simple things are simple but not always simple.
The world swings from simple things. Often, it returns to it at a point of complexity and suffocation.
A bit of humility, a bit of learning, a bit of doing and simple thing will remain simple.
From simple things we begin, that is where some discerning hearts may eventually return. Recognize it now.