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Quotations about Simplicity

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The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go. ~Steve Maraboli

Simplicity and harmony are the ultimate conditions to be attained in all things. ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895

I will bring the health of simplicity to my burdened soul and days. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world. ~Charles Dudley Warner

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. ~E.F. Schumacher (Thanks, Arly)

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

It is a long way back, a long way back, to simplicity, back to the vision with the sun shining upon it, back to my simple soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. ~Charles Warner

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ~Elise Boulding

Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it. ~Robert Brault,

The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn’t simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

I’m just a simple guy, I live from day to day. A ray of sunshine melts my frown and blows my blues away. ~Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham, "Out On The Tiles" (Led Zeppelin)

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs

Maybe a person’s time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food. ~Frank A. Clark

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Material blessings, when they pay beyond the category of need, are weirdly fruitful of headache. ~Philip Wylie

I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty. ~George Santayana, "The Irony of Liberalism"

Live simply that others might simply live. ~Elizabeth Ann Seton

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~Lin Yutang

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris, in a lecture, 1880

[T]he height of sophistication is simplicity. ~Clare Boothe Luce, Stuffed Shirts, 1931  [Thanks, Garson, O'Toole! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Anything simple always interests me. ~David Hockney

Our affluent society contains those of talent and insight who are driven to prefer poverty, to choose it, rather than submit to the desolation of an empty abundance. ~Michael Harrington

How many things are there which I do not want. ~Socrates

I go about looking at horses and cattle. They eat grass, make love, work when they have to, bear their young. I am sick with envy of them. ~Sherwood Anderson

The bird in a forest can perch but on one bough,
And this should be the wise man's pattern.
~Tso Ssu

More good has been accomplished by simple people seeking their own honest ends than by all the philanthropists in history. ~Robert Brault,

Remember that in giving any reason at all for refusing, you lay some foundation for a future request. ~Arthur Helps, Essays Written in Intervals of Business, 1841

It would add very much to the pleasure of life and to its sanctity if we cultivated the habit of seeing what is beautiful and divine in ordinary things, though this is not easy, because our natural tendency is to think and talk most of what is extraordinary. Let there come a vivid flash of lightning, followed instantly by the roll of thunder and the crashing of hail, and we are deeply impressed by it; but how few of us comparatively think of God's goodness in the deep serene calmness of an autumn day, when the leaves, beautiful even in death, drop one by one under the splendours of the cloudy sky. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884

People overestimate the pleasure they’ll get from having more stuff. This does not apply to new rose bushes, crayons, or yarn stashes. ~Dr. SunWolf,

Happiness is an occasional brief glance into how simple it all can be. ~Robert Brault,

The true Indian sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for difficult or dangerous service and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor. ~Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux (Charles Alexander Eastman)

Don't feel guilty about saying no to the nonessentials in life! —
simplicity is
saying yes to joy
by saying no to
~Terri Guillemets

The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling. ~Orison Marden

The best things in life are not only free, but the line is shorter. ~Robert Brault,

I like people who don't need a lot on the outside because they know there's so much good on the inside. ~Terri Guillemets

Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion. ~The Talmud

All goes back to the earth,
and so I do not desire
pride of excess or power,
but the contentments made
by men who have had little:
the fisherman’s silence
receiving the river’s grace,
the gardener’s musing on rows....
~Wendell Berry, "The Want of Peace"

I've adjectived up my life so much I forgot how to be simple and plain and quiet. Be. Just be. ~Terri Guillemets, "Verb life," 2010

In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~Henry David Thoreau

The simple joy of having just enough. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2015 tweet,

To those who complain of the complexity of modern life, he [Henry David Thoreau] might reply, "If you want inner peace find it in solitude, not speed, and if you would find yourself, look to the land from which you came and to which you go." ~Stewart Udall, The Quiet Crisis, 1963

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need. ~Vernon Howard

What a unique treasure are the things we have learned to live without, for no thief can take them from us. ~Robert Brault,

Since all the riches of this world
May be gifts from the Devil and earthly kings,
I should suspect that I worshipp’d the Devil
If I thank’d my God for worldly things.
~William Blake, Gnomic Verses

I am only reminded that this is an enormously wealthy and varied nation, yet also an insensitive and cruel and deadening one, and that to strive for recognition or wealth within it is a disquieting, unceasing labor that will not bring the best out of any man or woman. Better perhaps to seek the contentment of more humble work within the belly of the beast, to inhabit the Pascalian room, to chop your wood, haul your water; better perhaps to stay at home and grow your patch of garlic, and to dream in winter your subterranean dreams, which are always the same: of light, of warmth, and of liberation. ~Stanley Crawford, A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm, 1992

Life is amazingly good when it’s simple and amazingly simple when it’s good. ~Terri Guillemets

Simplify, then add lightness. ~Colin Chapman

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. ~Henry David Thoreau

The greatest truths are the simplest: so likewise are the greatest men. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. ~Socrates

If you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. ~Annie Dillard, "Seeing," Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1974

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu

We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~Donald Horban

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. ~Edwin Way Teale

The goal of life: simple but not empty. ~Terri Guillemets

The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed — it is a process of elimination. ~Elbert Hubbard

Each day, awakening, are we asked to paint the sky blue? Need we coax the sun to rise or flowers to bloom? Need we teach birds to sing, or children to laugh, or lovers to kiss? No, though we think the world imperfect, it surrounds us each day with its perfections. We are asked only to appreciate them, and to show appreciation by living in peaceful harmony amidst them. The Creator does not ask that we create a perfect world; He asks that we celebrate it. ~Robert Brault,

Prayer of the day: God, let the people of the world understand how they can embrace simplicity to save their lives. ~Terri Guillemets

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