A Resilient Approach To Life’s Complications

I just got a phone call from my bank.

Bank: Hello, we are phoning you to tell you that as a valued customer, we’re sending you a free Visa card, it’ll be free for life.

Me: I don’t want it, but thank you very much.

Bank: But it’s totally free for life.

Me: Yes, but I don’t want another card thanks.

Bank: Can you tell us the reason why you don’t want it?

Me: (OK, I’ll tell her the truth) Because I want to live a simple life and I don’t want to accept things that I don’t need.

Bank: But the reason for the call is to tell you that we are sending you the free card and all the documentation by post.

Me: Can you cancel that please?

Bank: Yes, of course.

Me: Thank you, Bye bye.

One thing I’m finding, is that it takes resilience to live a simple life these days. You have to keep a kind eye out for people and institutions that are constantly keen to keep complicating it for you – and the temptation to say yes and let them!

3 thoughts on “A Resilient Approach To Life’s Complications

  1. That’s a brilliant piece on your mother (OK–I was a post behind. Playing catch-up). My mother’s birthday was on the 9th of March and she also died in April. My sister and I always have a hot fudge sundae on her birthday because that was her tradition when she was alive.

    I don’t know if you are trying to avoid buying more “things” from Amazon or not, but in addition to Hanh’s book, I also really loved “Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive” by Larry Rosenberg. And here’s another great one for your wish list: “Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong” by Norman Fischer. There’s a short article on the latter book in the last issue of the Shambhala Sun.

    Finally, your description of the process of creating your sculpture is inspiring. I think many of my lessons in the classroom come into being in the same way. Just keep going. And then reflect on what you’ve done. Sometimes we can only connect the dots by looking backwards.


    1. Thanks for the comment and the book recommendations James. I read Into the Wild after your recommendation, and really loved it. I like your hot fudge sundae tradition too. I wonder what I’d eat on my mum’s anniversary? I think I just take time to look at the wonders of spring more that day.


      1. Appreciating a spring day sounds like a great thing to do for remembering your mom. Enjoy yourself!


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