Friday, December 21, 2007

Less is More

Less is more has been an important theme for me for many years as I try to follow its concept and philosophy but am amazed at how easily it is to get off track.

Less is more appears in all aspects of life but here is one example of how it has affected me recently and on a daily basis. A few months back I was interviewing for an entry level position at a good well established company on the east coast as a way of down sizing my life style and attempting to move closer to my family. But just like Jimmy Stewart in "Its a Wonderful Life" which will be airing in great repetition these next couple of weeks I've been unable to get out of town. I'm just plain stuck. Just like Jimmy.

I thought the job was in the bag as I've had a few conference call interviews with HR, managers and directors of the company. So in between interviews I performed a heraldic job of packing, discarding junk and cleaning up. It was quite a good feeling being cathartic about life spiritually while physically getting rid of "baggage." I couldn't believe how much stuff I've accumulated over the years.

But I kept out a handful of kitchen, clothes, bathroom and bedding essentials until I pulled the plug and moved my packed stuff. Well, as life would have it I received a call from the hiring manager of the company who informed me I was a good interviewee but the group felt I was overqualified for the position and would have to deny me the available position that I felt was a great choice for both the company and myself. But what do my feelings matter to those who already made up their minds? It was disheartening. No, it was shocking.

Yes I was quite taken aback by the decision as I foolishly thought the job was a shoe in. Assumptions and expectations always get us in trouble. Still well shaken like a martini I went on searching for work but was in denial that my last job was most likely my last job. What to do? What I always felt I had a strong desire but was a major risk: to aspire to the life of the short story writer I always wanted to become. That's the long and the short of it.

How does this relate to less is more? Well, for the last few months I've been living what might be considered a minimal existence on few goods, having packed and stored the majority of my hoarding. I thought I'd be without the necessities I needed. But to my surprise the few utensils, shirts, slacks, hats, bedding and other miscellaneous necessities which were not packed were more than I need.

I'm ashamed to say I like most Americans have more than I need. We're a race of pack rats hoarding and accumulating stuff as signs of status, wealth and position. But what do we really need to live a daily existence? Very little I suspect. my estimate is that I'm now using about 10% of the stuff I own and am want for nothing else. How embarrassing.

Less is more is more or less. It goes far beyond comfort creatures. It applies to long and boring cell phone conversations, unnecessary e-mails, wasteful gossipy chats, excess in food consumption and expensive toys for the well to do. Oh there's more but these are merely the highlights.

Someone might ask if blogs are in excess. I think so. I read many blogs daily and find it hard to believe the unnecessary rhetoric on the majority of blogs I read.

Maybe this is one. You can decide.

Bye for now.

No comments: