5088611_origWe are constantly churning innovative solutions for our indulgent life. These solutions are built on the simplicity of old, proven to be viable, except a magnitude higher in complexity, bringing about a dramatic shift in the dynamics of our ecosystem.

Growing up during the 70s in a traditional Indian family, “Thaila” a reusable jute sack was the trusted carrier. The sack was rinsed and washed to keep it clean. Along came colorful plastic bags – a single use alternative, which caused unceremonious demise of Thaila. After billions of plastic bags, a short term fix for a twenty minute problem which takes a millennium to become nothing, Thaila is staging a comeback. Are we moving forward or backwards – I ask?

Shopping for clothes was a chore which requires little more thought than the whiff of mind. Some questions that crossed the mind – Is the material durable? Are the fabric colors steadfast? Sharing clothes with siblings, cousins and friends was always on our mind. Consumerism has stripped us from these simple pleasures in life. Now we pride in mindless accumulation with brands shining light on every corner of the world, where sharing clothes is looked upon as invasion of privacy, worse yet become “hand me downs,” encasing ourselves in this consumerist behavior. The trends of reuse are building up and discards are seeing the transformation – a beautiful, functional and sustainable fashion statement. Are we moving forward or backwards – I ask?

The invention of video games is not a chance discovery, but a concerted effort to find ways to harness the power of logic. It is an exciting phase empowering the human brain to visualize the inconceivable, challenging our imagination. Little did we realize that such an imaginative experience would subject us to isolation and chain us indoors, causing “Nature Deficit Syndrome.” Having seen this dark side effect, parents and teachers are clamoring for kids to unplug and be outdoors. Are we moving forward or backwards – I ask?

No distance was far enough which our feet wouldn’t reach and walking-bicycling was a favorite pass time. For long distance trips, buses would make it convenient and train rides were exciting. The desire to have more horses with larger gas appetite submitting to our feet, tempting us to scale the next big mountain or zip through snow country is fueling the carbon economy. Seldom have we stopped to look back to see what’s coming out the tail pipe. With passing time we are getting anxious about the shrinkage of resources that power us. Are we moving forward or backwards – I ask?

Eating fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables is the bedrock of our dietary habits. Slow cooking was the norm, where meals were light on stomach and good for the heart enjoyed together with family and friends. The corporatization of our food culture has skillfully taught us snaking around the isles looking through variety of packaged meal – highly processed, low-nutritional foods appealing to our taste buds, ready in a snap to be enjoyed with electronic friends. The roles are reversing and fresh, organic produce is trumping over carnal pleasures of palette. Are we moving forward or backwards – I ask?

Let’s move forward with – a life not of sacrifice, but rather simplicity, seeking pleasure in simplifying living.