Today’s post was inspired by an article I read some weeks ago about ‘abolishing the aisle at Congress.’ The question that the article was trying to answer was ‘Would divided legislators work together if they had to sit in alphabetical order?’
I thought, wow! This is so simple, but could have great impact!!
I’ve been giving this a thought lately and came to the same conclusion as the author of the article: there are simple steps we could take to significantly improve some of the problems our world faces.
Actually, there’s nothing new behind this idea. Albert Einstein’s opinion about simplicity is the following:
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury…to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.”
And there are many more popular quotes on the importance of simplicity. Here just a few of them:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius
“Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.” Thor Heyerdahl
“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu
“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” Leo Tolstoy
Although one might think that our ‘complicated’ problems cannot be approached with simplicity, actually the contrary seems to be true, as the following very inspiring quote emphazises:
“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.” John Kabat-Zinn
Let’s see if we can come up with a couple of simple and small steps that could represent a giant leap for mankind.
Simple actions with humongous consequences:
- Sit legislators in alphabetical order at Congress. This could have a huge impact on politics and enable politicians to make a real difference. While legislators from different parties would be brought closer together, opposition could start to melt down.
- Bring together kids and young people from ‘apparently opposite’ groups such as Israelis and Palestinians to sing a beautiful song. If you have ever sung a beautiful piece of music with someone else, you know what I’m talking about. The feeling of connection is present everywhere while singing together. Everlasting conflicts could disappear in one generation applying such simple actions locally and globally.
- Make dance class at schools as mandatory as maths or history. Kids can’t and shouldn’t sit down for so many hours, pretending to be concentrated. They need to move and learn to express their emotions with their body. Emotions management is one of the most important things kids should learn before they are 7 years old. A nice side effect could be that many kids could eliminate their wrongly prescribed ADHD pills.
- Prohibit companies to donate to political campaigns and make available all income and expenses incurred by political parties publicly. Maybe even limit donation to maximum $1000 and margin political campaign expenses. This way only individual citizens could donate and big companies would not have such a power over Government and its politics.
- Remove violence (physical, emotional and spoken) from TV programs, news, video games…I know some people (or even many) would be against such a change, but I would like to see what our world would look like if this idea was put into practice for at least one year as a test. Then, discussions about the impact of such an action could be based on hard facts. My bet is that there would be less violence in families, schools, less suicides, less conflicts, less guns at homes…
Those are just ideas with a potential huge impact, but it usually takes a great amount of critical thinking to truly make something simple.
The popular author James Altucher challenges us to train our idea muscle everyday. So I encourage critical thinkers and everyone to develop these ideas or come up with their own.
As Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Isn’t it about time to do things differently? It might be much simpler as we think.
What other simple ideas do you think could have a huge impact on our society?