The Dignity of Simplicity

by on January 15th, 2015
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“O incomprehensible God!

Shall my pilot be

My inborn stars to that

Final call to Thee

O my river’s complex course?”

Fishing is much more than fish. Above is an excerpt from a poem, “The Call Of The River Nun,” a piece of work that treats a personal situation in a purely private manner, which gained Gabriel I.O. Okara, the best -all-round award in the Nigerian Festival of Arts, 1953. In the midst of doubt, the average would have asked, “How complex is the river’s course?”

Have you ever stepped on someone’s foot and found it difficult to say, I’m sorry? Or wanted something but couldn’t say, please? Or maybe you were shy to say you were wrong the other time you had a misunderstanding with your closest friend? Or you have run short of the words, thank you? How easy it is to tell your new acquaintances that you came from the wealthiest side of the country and have met with one or two famous persons, meanwhile, you have unsettled debt you owe? I can go on telling several cases where it is easy to turn down on the pearls of simplicity. Whatever level of success you hope to attain, you’ll ever be in need of simplicity. What then is that dignity of simplicity?

To be forward but personally defined, dignity is nobility or elevation of character; worthiness, importance, as simplicity is the property of being simple. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to its complication. Sometimes, simplicity is being used to imply beauty. It can refer to a simple living lifestyle.

Dignity of simplicity means the importance of simple living lifestyle.

On hearing this, a whole lot must have gone through your mind depending on your past experiences. From another point of view, one may regard simplicity as a weakness or life associated with losers, and as a matter of urgency, I’d like to tell you that simplicity is not giving you cases applicable. If Paula White is regarded as a nice, simple preacher, If Elizabeth Ogbu is a simple, nice lady, I’ll show you how she will act.

Simplicity is focus, knowing what you want and finding the right, simplest and easiest way to achieve it. It is the simplification of one’s life in order to focus on things that are most important and avoid things that are least important. It works on the principle that twenty percent of what you do, accounts for eighty percent of the importance you possess.

Simplicity is not just a noble character, but also an asset. It is a ladder to success. It makes one an object of admiration which cannot be bought with money or lived easily. It is not as easy as it is called. When you are without spot, you’re not only a figure for admiration, but also a focus for jealousy and hatred; and in no distant time, so many unwanted notes would be filed against you. You need not be weary or worry because I have an assurance for you. In style, in character, in manner, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.

These, you ought to know; purity and simplicity are two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature. It takes humility, resolvedness and willingness to do right no matter what it takes. It is in big contrast with pretense. It saves you from the high cost of pretense, putting a front of who you are not.

Elizabeth may have a quarrel with her friend; her simplicity would make her focus on solving the problem rather than figuring out who is at fault. This is because the problem is her problem, not her friend.

Another case in which simple living lifestyle is hard is when one gets short of ideas and will require you to seek for advice. It is easy to ask from a superior and the experienced. What about when the help you needed is coming from a subordinate? I think another may choose to boss him around. But because of the simplicity of Elizabeth’s life, she won’t. She will respect everyone who deserves respect. Simplicity is not contentment.


Simplicity is not mediocrity. A mediocre is an averager, better still, look worm, neither good nor bad. In his mind, he would say, I can’t do this, not because he has tried, but because of the demand it may cause him. Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations. Simplicity is the power to creativity. It brings up inventions and creative mind. Hope you can still remember how big computers use to be, occupying great deal of space, improving from first generation to the fifth generation computer. How is the modern computer? It has been made simpler with multiple functions. This motivated Edward Teller, the Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, one time director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, to say that the main purpose of science is simplicity. I know this is because the more we understand things, the more everything becomes simpler. The person who describes you only by your externals is your biggest cause of alarm (1 Samuel 16:7) Simplicity ensures responsibility (Matthew 19:21). Simplicity is a lifestyle. It brings admiration, as well as, troubles. Be conscious that simplicity does not precede complexity, instead, follows it.

How beautiful life would be when the world finds no spot in you. How wonderful it would be when we experience the atmosphere of spotlessness. Always remember that the beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm, depend on simplicity.

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