There is certainly something to be said about it. But, then, by adding to the very word itself, there is always a danger of complicating the very concept implied from the singular word that stands alone as a paradigm of striving, a goal to attain, an end to achieve.
“Simplicity” is a state of being, a characteristic of existence and the pinnacle of wishes in dreams fantasized. Yet, nowhere in the historical archives of any fairytales of yore, in whatever form and differences of versions presented — you know, the one that involves a genie who allows for 3 wishes to be granted to the lucky one — do you find the individual request: Simplicity.
No, instead, it is the complex which is always wished for: More wealth; the key to the universe; eternal youth; to be the “greatest X”; or any other of a number of states of being or accumulation of stuff that will only further complicate one’s life. Never, ever, does one wish for: Simplicity. Yes, that is what everyone all over the world always claims to be striving for, while at the same time doing everything in order to undermine it. Does one think that acquiring greater wealth, being granted eternal immortality or an extended childhood of innocence will result in the attainment of simplicity?
And of the world that promises anything but delivers short on everything, the empty palms begin to echo hollow: This new technological gadget X will be a greater time-saver and will “simplify” your life; and that shortcut invention Y will allow you to “spend more time doing the things you want to do”… If we could bottle up all of the minutes promised to have been saved for every gadget offered, we should all be living the life of simplicity in a stress-free universe.
What becomes apparent is that simplicity is a malleable concept that cannot so easily be defined, and is bundled up with a conundrum of complexities depending upon one’s perspective and viewpoint. For example, for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition and who needs to file a Federal Disability Retirement application — is the process of presenting proof to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management a matter of administrative simplicity such that completing SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, can be accomplished without proper legal guidance?
The form itself looks simple enough; the questions posed, an artwork of simplicity; and the space in the boxes provide, a simple couple of inches of allowances; so how can such simplicity present a complexity of legal entanglements?
Until, of course, one realizes that simplicity is often the trap for the unweary: look upon that pinnacle of simplicity wrapped in the morning sunlight where the dew forms upon a spider’s web — ah, such simplicity in nature, awaiting the unweary to be trapped and irreversibly enmeshed.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire