Monday, 23 May 2016

The Art of Simplicity

by Michaela Clancy


We live in a world where every aspect of our lives has be filled with either work or a form of activity, such as social lives or endless trawling of social media sites or apps.Our world is an active one, not one second of our lives is allowed to be passive or just non-existent, it is intertwined in our culture to have our minds constantly occupied.

I am one of the guilty members of this group who is constantly doing work or partaking in a co-curricular activity, which although thoroughly enjoyable,  at times I just wish that I could discover a pause button, so that I could stop and consider and I think that would go for many.

A few weekends ago I was part of a team who completed the 45 mile ten tors challenge which took 2 days of intense trekking in one of the most desolate areas in England. The land really is bleak, with nothing but rolling hills and seemingly endless valleys of grass and bogs. I realise that I’m not presenting Dartmoor in the most desirable light but Im not trying to. I could write endless paragraphs about its hidden beauty but that is not what the article is about. I realised something that I don’t believe I would have found out if I hadn’t been on that event, and that is, the art of simplicity.

That weekend 2400 teenagers walked copious amounts of miles with no phones to contact the outside world, not a car in sight or any other people other than the ten tors participants and the military. Anything could have happened when we were out there and we would have been non the wiser. I can remember thinking that we could return from the moor and realise that the world had ended without us even suspecting something had changed.

I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to take a trip to Dartmoor and wander aimlessly for numerous days but I am saying that we need to strip our lives back to simple existence. For two days I was a person who’s concentration was only focused on walking, eating and sleeping (I realise how odd that sounds). School, exams, world news, Facebook: none of that mattered, I was in a landscape that could have been on another planet. It was an odd feeling, been divided from a word that relies so heavily upon technology and communications but it was a wake up call that I needed. I discovered that I need to take some time out of my routines to just sit and do nothing, to lose myself in aimless thought.


The art of simplicity is an overlooked area in our lives that is easily shrouded by the complications of interesting and fascinating objects and activities. Become one of those rare people who accomplish this rare and rather enjoyable numbness to the technological world. Not only will it help you appreciate simplicity but it will also help you relax.

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