Any simple thing

Dickens Christmas Fair 2003

At the Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco, 2003

“Christmas in 1949 must compete as never before with the dazzling complexity of  man, whose tangential desires and ingenuities have created a world that gives any simple thing the look of obsolescence—as though there were something inherently foolish in what is simple, or natural.”  — E. B. White, in The New Yorker, December 1949

We are sometimes misled into thinking that the struggle for simplicity is a new one; that our generation faces dilemmas never seen before.  Yet quotes such as this one remind us that details may evolve and grow ever more elaborate, but the essential human flaws and pitfalls remain remarkably unchanged.  Now, as in decades and centuries past, we must beware the tendency to covet the newest shiny objects, while dismissing the simple or natural as less sophisticated.  Today, I wish you eyes that are open to the value of blessings overlooked by those who rush to the next Big New Thing.


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