The Joy of Simplicity


Have you ever seen that image of Dale Irby, a retired physical education teacher from Dallas (Texas) who has sported the same outfit in every yearbook photo for forty years? It started out back in 1973, then his wife dared him to do it again the next year…

I absolutely adore that image. I find the simplicity of Dale’s outfit so beautiful. It reminds me so much my dear husband whose outfit hardly ever changed over the almost 20 years I knew him. It reflects so well the philosophy of minimalism and simplicity we are trying to instill in our children. Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. There is great freedom in simplicity of living.

Minimalism in my view is not about owning nothing, but about nothing owning us. It is about removing unnecessary distractions to allow us to focus on what really matters. It is about just being yourself. If someone does not appreciate our true beings, why spending money on the things we don’t need just to impress them?

The world we live in is not friendly to the pursuit of minimalism. Its tendencies and relentless advertising campaigns call us to acquire more, better, faster, trendier and newer. The journey of finding simplicity requires consistent inspiration.

Do you like simplicity in your life?
What is your source for inspiration?




25 thoughts on “The Joy of Simplicity

  1. How wonderful! I didn’t know of Dale Irby. The collage is beautiful.
    I like simplicity, most of the time. Then I get that monkey mind which says I have to do, do, do. It says the next gadget or purchase or app will “fix” everything. When I get to that place, I go to nature for inspiration. Being present there I can notice that the trees simply grow around, over or under whatever is between them and the sun. That refreshes me.
    I love the picture of joyful child. A great reminder to me today. Thank you.

  2. Cool. One man’s rut is an other’s well oiled groove.

  3. malootka says:

    I totally agree, just want to add something from my own experience: minimalism can own us as well, making us not reaching for more of what the life offers us; philosophy of less things, less clothes, less gadgets may become philosophy of less joy, less happiness, less energy, just because our thinking strives to get consistent. I mean that if minimalism is a result of knowing our own worth, it serves us, and this is what you wrote. But if minimalism is a result of feeling that worse one, not deserving more from the life – it harms, because it limits us.

  4. I like the Swedish idea of lagom – the amount that is Just Right. Too much or too little can both be life-denying.

  5. satzie says:

    Interesting picture. 🙂
    Love your views on minimalism. “Minimalism in my view is not about owning nothing, but about nothing owning us. It is about removing unnecessary distractions to allow us to focus on what really matters.”
    I also like the quote.
    Good post Otrazhenie 🙂

  6. shericonaway says:

    You make an excellent point. We are definitely bombarded with advertising which is meant to incite us to achieve what I like to call “conspicuous consumption”. Everything from fashion to electronics is subject to planned obsolescence. Only the consumer can make it stop.

  7. creative soul says:

    A beautiful, and meaningful passage; really enjoyed this.
    Most everyone reading this is influenced by the economics-consumerism, so this will be an interesting read for many.

  8. bkpyett says:

    What a feat, 40 years wearing the same colours, if not the same clothes, is remarkable. I love it!!

  9. I especially like this line: The journey of finding simplicity requires consistent inspiration. I am inspired to simplify over and over again in different ways and each way invites more good to enter into the ‘open spaces’.

  10. Yes, I love having simplicity in my life, and my inspiration for doing so comes from God’s Word. Having a simple eye has greatly reduced my stress as I look forward to God’s promised future blessings. Thank you for writing such an encouraging post and for allowing me to share my thoughts on it! 🙂

  11. viapina says:

    Awesome persistency!!! 🙂

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