Lesson Six: There’s Happiness in Simplicity

Nature is pleased with Simplicity. And nature is no dummy.” ~Isaac Newton

Tortoises lead a pretty simple life. They stay cozy in their hides most of the time. They walk around looking for tasty morsels to eat. They respond to sound and vibration. They have sex. They soak in water. They lay eggs. And…repeat.

I don’t think tortoises have existential crises. They don’t seem to overthink things. They live. They enjoy good food. They even hang out together.

I’m not saying that tortoises are boring, or all alike. They are unique…they have personalities. Some like to come out in the rain, others do not. Some like to have their heads scratched, others do not. But even their preferences are simple.

Sometimes we get into this mindset that we will be happy when we _____________ (fill in the blank). Once we acquire or accomplish that thing, guess what?! There’s a new thing on the horizon.

Maybe it’s counterintuitive, but less really is better. The more stuff we have, the more time we spend taking care of it all. The nicer a thing is, the more effort we have to spend protecting it. Belongings are anchors.

I once had a bicycle that was old, and not much to look at, but it was dependable. I rode it all over the place, and never gave much thought to it getting stolen. Then I decided to replace that bike with a shiny, new, expensive, orange bike. I began to worry about it getting stolen. So, I bought a lock for it. The lock cost more than my old bike. The simple days were gone…

Janis Joplin was singing the wisdom of this idea long ago.

So, today I’m going to try to keep it free – Janis Joplin style. I’m going to keep it simple – tortoise style. I’m going to listen to some good music. I’m going to hang out in my hide a little and drink some coffee. I’ll find some tasty morsels (and watch tortoises eat their breakfast). I might go soak in the sea…and hang out with others. And maybe I’ll do more of the types of things tortoises do…simple things – the tortoise is no dummy! And that’s good enough for me.

“Life is truly lived in the moments of simplicity.” ~Avijeet Das

Stay tuned for more Tales from Torti Town.


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