“Simplicity has become, for many of us, a word filled with longing and desire. We long to unburden ourselves of excess, to have more straightforward relationships, to declutter our homes and to avoid noise, complexity and fuss. Simplicity has grown central to our vision of happiness.
But it is notable - and revealing - that in historical terms, this yearning is very new. For most of our time on this planet, our aspirations have pointed in a radically different direction. Traditionally, whenever the chance arose, people’s instincts ran towards enrichment and complexity; we wanted to embellish our environment, to demonstrate increasing sophistication and to live in great opulence, formality, ritual and display.
Simplicity has become so elusive and desirable because the modern age is troublingly, infinitely noisy and abundant. Industrialisation has made a vast array of products available to almost everyone at very low cost. We are bathed in options, surrounded with too many competing visions of happiness. We crave simplicity not because we are simple, but because we are drowning in complexity.”
“ A simpler life”
The School of Life / Alain de Botton