Simplicity is the superpower that I struggled the most with at first. I think it had something to do with my 6th grade math teacher. He came in every morning & wrote on the board: K.I.S.S. But it wasn’t the kind of kiss that we could sing about with our friends, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. K.I.S.S. was his principal – K-I-S-S- Keep It Simple, Stupid. It wasn’t exactly the most rallying of cries to empower us to keep things simple.
So as an optimist in the world, I can’t help but goodify – that is to see the good and amplify it. So I’ll turn this into an Optimist principal: Keep It Simple, Superhero. Because simplicity? That IS a superpower. And not the kind that you need a cape to have. Simplicity is the quality that makes something easy to understand – easy to use. Not complicated. Uncompounded.
Simplicity comes from the Latin word, simplex – literally “one-fold”. And by the late 14c. simplicity actually indicated a kind of singleness of nature & unity. Undivisibility.
So the root of simplicity is about getting down to what unites us – the very essence of something. The very essence of us. It’s about getting down to the most understandable element, getting down to what’s clear – not compounded or complicated by any other distraction. It is understanding and tuning into the important thing. And as Einstein reminds us, the important thing is to keep the important thing, the important thing. That’s the simple truth.
But life, man, can feel far from simple. There are so many things that muddy the waters and make things complicated – so many “important things” to deal with. And it’s HARD to keep things simple when there are so many different people telling you different things. It’s HARD to keep things simple when there are so many demands & expectations that we face and internalize. It’s HARD to keep things simple when there are so many obstacles that we face.
Simplicity isn’t easy. That’s why it’s a superpower. It’s hard work to make the important thing easy to see – easy to dis-cover when it’s been covered up by life. So while we don’t necessarily need to wear capes, we get to be superheroes in helping ourselves and others discover & keep our important thing, the important thing. So let’s Keep It Simple, Superheroes.
Ellen Lempereur-Greaves works for the Life is Good Kids Foundation as a Playmaker Coach and Creative Manager. The Life is Good Kids Foundation partners with leading childcare organizations to positively impact the quality of care delivered to the most vulnerable children.