The KISS Principle
Have you heard of this? KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid “ coined by the US Navy in 1960 and meant to drive home the fact that most systems work best when they remain simple.
After last week’s blog post on the mystery of faith I’ve received several comments regarding Jesus’ simple teaching to love God above all else and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. It’s true, this is a very simple message. So why have we made it so complicated?
Of course some people are just desperate to complicate matters. I know of a lady who could be described as a compulsive complicator. She simply LOVES committees. Her favourite type of committee is a “sub-committee which comes under the umbrella of a parent-body formed to take a closer look at the policies regarding ….. (fill in the blank)”. I guess you could call her a detail person. Nice though this lady is I can only handle her company in very small doses – anyone who describes a box as a “3-d rectangular container” or the grocery store as a “retail outlet for staples of meal preparation” is pretty exhausting to listen to and does things to my brain (see fig A). But I do love her and I know if I want someone to proof read something to save me from exposing my idiocy – I go straight to her. As you can tell (if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written) I hardly ever ask for her help – the cost in time and heightened blood pressure is simply too high.
I am all for simplicity! Less is more. But of course you can go too far – I’m not prepared to start washing my clothes by rubbing my clothes on a rock beside the river, or eat salted porridge (ie gruel) for every meal. A friend of my grandfather’s held up his pants with a piece of string, tied his coat with the same thing, walked everywhere and proclaimed “I don’t need to carry food – there’s always grass and the fruits of the land”. When we asked what happened to this man the answer came “he died”. Somehow this statement was not at all shocking.
So what’s my point? We all have to decide what’s essential to us. The condos being built nearby have shown me that all these homes share a common foundation, framework and layout but I know each one will bear the stamp of their owner’s past, present and hope for the future. The trick is to leave some space for renewal and to keep letting go of what is no longer relevant – and that can never be love.
Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young. Benjamin Franklin.