simply put, don’t complicate

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Complicating things is easy. Anyone can do it. It takes no special skills, no formal training. Hell, children master it and they are still in the early stages of development. However, simplifying things…now that is hard work. Boiling situations, problems, tasks, and processes down to their essence and then working to resolve them in a way which is both satisfactory and reasonable is a skill which often seems to be in short supply as we bounce around our lives. Children can be forgiven for adding complication since they often do so without an agenda. Adults have far fewer, if any, excuses.

Part of our urge to complicate arises from the harbinger of many of life’s difficulties: ego. Ego drives us to want to promote our position, our station, our impact, and our importance so others will see us in the same glorious light we see ourselves, so people can marvel at our intelligence, thoughtfulness, insight and wisdom. Or maybe we are just that insecure. Another weapon in our monstrous complicating arsenal is the not-so-subtle art of deflection. Not deflection in a Wonder Woman bracelet kind of way, which is pretty cool. At least she is working hard deflecting those bullets. No, we deflect, deflect, deflect until the situation resolves itself without us having to actually contribute anything or until everything gets so lost in a soupy haze of muddled distractions that people forget the original goal. Using powers of deflection we can turn the simple decision of choosing a dessert into a dissertation on the history, social implications and health benefits of a sweet treat after a meal. Even more cynically, perhaps our need to complicate is motivated by the age-old and dazzling human capacity to criticize and tear down. Let’s face it; criticizing is far less taxing than offering alternatives and rolling up our sleeves to overcome whatever situation lies before us. Being bulletproof is pretty easy when you never go to the streets.

It is staggering to think what could be accomplished simply by casting aside egos, deflection and criticism, and tossing laziness into the muddy ditch. The resulting world, one which is focused on moving forward with the modest goal of constant improvement for all, would be unrecognizable. The good news is if this fantasy world ever comes to fruition naming it would not be complicated. One has already been chosen: Utopia.

  1. There is elegance in simplicity.


  2. bronxboy55 says:

    I used to tutor high school students for the SAT. The questions in the math section, especially, are shrouded in confusing language and presentation, so the biggest challenge is to find a way to simplify things. But very often, as you said, the students had a tendency to make things even more complicated. I usually attributed this to the fear that they might be missing something.


    • John says:

      FOMS (Fear Of Missing Something) is rampant among the youth and far too many adults. If people need a cause to get behind, eliminating FOMS is as worthy as many others!


  3. Patti Kuche says:

    Let’s take the you and I out of Utopia!


  4. sparklebumps says:

    Oh, but if I let my ego go, then I wouldn’t have a blog! How sad would that be?!


  5. kayjai says:

    Nice post. Everything gets over-analyzed and inspected for the minute details that are just irrelevant. *sigh* Simplicity is divine.


  6. Egos reallly cause an awful lot of problems, don’t they. I’m as guilty of the ego thing as anyone else, but it’s true that when someone gets bent out of shape about something because they perceive it as personal blow to their ego, it really does complicate things enormously. That, and deflecting blame and not taking responsibility. Can’t we all just get along? Sigh.


  7. I don’t think it should be called Utopia. I think we should think of a different name. One that hasn’t been used yet. Let me think about this…


  8. Ah, Utopia it is. Save me a spot.


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