Monday, October 16, 2006

Sometimes Simple Living Scares People


There is someone I know through the "blogosphere" who is having difficulties with fitting in to their neighborhood. They live a simple, frugal life in a smaller town, in an old home that they are slowly updating. They are now mortgage-free. They grow many of their own vegetables and fruits. They have a few much-loved chickens that play in their garden. They are considerate of their neighbors. They bake wonderful breads and other dishes that they share. They leave bouquets of fresh flowers on doorsteps--just to bring some joy to others. Any yet, they are denounced as being "problems" and the neighborhood children call them names and make them feel unwanted, and unwelcome.

I'm trying to figure out why some people are so threatened by someone showing only kindness. I think it's because when people see someone managing to be happy,(especially without all the "things" that modern society says that they "need" in order to be so), they become frightened because it means that maybe--just maybe--they are wrong.

That's a scary thought. After all they've suffered in order to get ahead, buy the right house, the right car, wear the right clothes, and go on the right vacations, perhaps it's all meaningless after all. Perhaps they didn't really need to do all that in order to find happiness.

Learning to be content with what you have is, perhaps, the greatest skill one can ever learn. I'm still struggling. Most everyone else is too. Sometimes you have to make your own community if the one you live in won't have you. That's sad, but it's their loss, not yours.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is a continuing struggle for us too... You wonder, how much trouble is in the mind, compared to how much outside? But when these things have actually happened (suicides, name calling, shunning) you feel there is a strange dysfunctional sickness afoot in the community. Even if it is only in my odd little orbit and others around aren't experiencing it or know of it...

Alice posted up some good and helpful advice this week from another source... "If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive; for that person has helped you learn about trust and the importance of caution." This is a big lesson for me to learn. And the one I want to believe: "You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets." I know this is true within limits. There are limits.

And here are my own words, rambling on this AM: We can only control our own situation and reactions... Not other's. When we finger point, no matter the situation, there are always more fingers we point back at ourselves and we must look at our part in the equation to see where we may be going wrong. And acknowledge that what we desire may not be at all what other's do. So all we can do is keep on the keeping on! And decide how it is we wish to live.

Thank you, Lisa, for being understanding and recognizing the struggle we all might face when choosing to step out of the mainstream. (Wildside as anon because can't sign in to comment!)

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add another comment that yes, simple living sometimes scares me too! Would love to move beyond the fear -- and think perhaps I am getting there?!? And we are not as simple as some might think... That too is an ongoing struggle... (Wildside)

6:31 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Oh, so true...I think that is the true skill and I'm trying to reach that too. Gee, where is this 'neighbor'? I need to move in right BESIDES them ;) I think it's jealously (the 'have everything' people) they want everything they also wish they were more like this neighbor..I'm thinking about you during this flooding time..oh, your poor scarecrow :(

2:48 PM  
Blogger Imma ( Alice) said...

There are two things that come to mind as I read this post tonight.

1- I have read and heard different times that everyone is coming from one of two places... love or fear. If they/you are not coming from a place of love they/you are coming from a place of fear. So... are these neighbors being loving? By the sound of it I would have to say "no". So then they have to be coming from a place of fear.

2- All too often people fear what they don't understand. They "hate" people of different skin colors or different religions and races, etc... but you can't hate what you don't first know and love. So they don't really hate, but fear these people because they don't understand them or know anything about them.

So as you can see... these people that are so unkind to their neighbors are afraid. Of what? Who knows. Maybe they just fear what they don't understand. Maybe they fear that they may some day have to learn something new and may have to change from the life they've always known and felt comfortable in.

All I know for sure is that this is not the problem of the "simple living neighbor" unless they decide to "take it on". In reality, it is the problem of all those "nasty neighbors" and their "nasty kids" because they are small minded and afraid.

Just my thoughts... :o)

12:15 AM  
Blogger Rockin' Hejabi said...

Be it the world or the space, He is with you.
He chastises to make the impure pure.
Neglect devotion and be bound by fetters of pain and doubt.
Seek freedom, the remedy of all pain.
Seek the roots from which sprout leaves and fruit.
Water the roots and grow to perfection.
And when the fruit blossoms, give it to your friends.

Rumi, from his "Mathnawi".

7:11 PM  

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