When less is more

“Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance.” Anthony de Mello, One Minute Wisdom

When was the last time your assumptions were challenged sufficient to question your learned response?

I know it’s me, but despite the obvious wisdom of following the crowd, I long for the (non-violent) heretic to appear on my horizon to blow apart what I’ve come to expect from life.

I’d like to think my elders would have a lot to offer in the ‘wake up’ department, but the ones that made their deepest mark have long since left this world.

Yes, there might be the odd book or TED talk to open our mind to a new idea etc., but there’s no substitute for personal interaction.

But, in the end, we don’t need anyone to question the seminal question: What is it that we expect from life?

More…of everything?

That’s certainly how it looks to me.

I’m no champion of minimalism — you only need look inside my study at home to realise that — but I know, previously, that having less taught me more about myself than a level of expectation that’s only matched by my ability to earn and spend.

On this point — I intend to write more about a life of less — I realise my wisdom compass is very small — stuff is just stuff — but I think if we could find a tribe in our midst to show us how community, frugality and a gift culture worked (see Lewis Hyde’s book, The Gift), then it might just shake us from our consumerist pedestal that’s done so much to change us as human beings.

In the end I suspect it’s easier to bury our head in the sand and avoid questioning much beyond a limited existential purview, but just imagine how the world will look in a few hundred years if we all carry on as we do today.

I doubt if there will be much if anything left.

Oh dear.

Now that’s cataclysmic.