The most remarkable people I know or read have the gift of being simple, in the way they are, in the things they do, in the way they speak and the way they think. You are aware that things they are sharing are the result of many years of dedication, deep knowledge and sacrifice, yet is so easy to understand them, its logical and simple.
Einstein said — If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.
This reminds me of a colleague (who at the time was head of the Agency for Human Rights) and the way he was making decisions, both personal and professional. He told us that when he has a difficult decision to make, he applies “Eric test” and when we asked what is that, expecting some complex six sigma methodology he explained:
“When I think about important decisions and their consequences, especially if there are ethical and moral components I do not think about myself, but what would Eric say. In 10 or 20 years I want him to be proud of the decisions I made, I want him to benefit from them.” Who´s Eric, you may ask — Eric is his 4-year-old grandson. So you see, even making decisions can become simple if you have the right parameters and put things into perspective.
I am very careful and indecisive when it comes to labelling myself, except for those obvious ones — daughter, sister, friend, lover, human, being of nature… Everything else seems pretentious and too much.
When I was 24, a brain surgery stripped me of everything I thought I was and will be. For a moment, there was nothing just people that cared about me, nothing was more important than someone to hold my hand and help me to eat. I felt I was nothing, and soon after recovering I wanted to become everything, I wanted complicated things (like studying in a language I don't speak nor understand), I was hungry for titles and labels… And the more of them came, the less they meant to me. The most obvious ones knitted of my relationships show to be the only one to care about and nurture. Daughter, sister, friend, lover, human, being of nature…
And that is why I love simple things, despite most of my life has been nothing but one complication after another. And one of my favourite simple things is being happy.
Yes, being happy is simple! And if it's not then the priority is to be something else, not happy. We want to be in love, rich, successful, accepted, famous… But we don't need any of that to be happy. And if you don't believe me think of the last time you were spontaneously and genuinely happy, it was probably hearing the voice of your childhood friend, or when you entered the house and smelled your favourite dish, standing on the coast with the salty wind in the hair, holding hands, receiving a postcard, or that time you were tired and without asking someone said let me do this for you, giving a hand, or even simpler — just giving, moving the world's needle toward good for tiny, invisible, micro-nano millimetre.
Its like ying-yang dynamics, simplicity brings happiness and being happy makes us simplify the things around us, in a good way.
The rules are quite simple if you ask me…