NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY | July 12
National Simplicity Day honors transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The day advocates a life of simplicity and recognizes the life of Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) lived his life as many things including an author, naturalist, philosopher, and historian. He was also known to be a tax resister, abolitionist, development critic, and surveyor. His book, Walden, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.
“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
– Henry David Thoreau
In our fast, ever-increasingly busy lifestyles, the observance encourages stepping back and looking at ways to simplify our lives. It’s an opportunity to declutter and eliminate the unnecessary burdens that weigh us down. Even taking a few moments to tune into nature helps us to refocus and find balance.
“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.”
– J. Botherton
“Simplicity is the essence of happiness.”
– Cedric Bledsoe
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
– Robert Brault
How to Simplify
Seek a leisurely pace that doesn’t include the accumulation of things. That’s the easiest explanation of the day. Look to nature or companionship, perhaps to a few passages from a book or the wisdom of a child. We all need the nourishment of food and rest and satisfaction of a job well done. These simple things collect together to fulfill our greatest needs. All that remains falls away.
However, living simply doesn’t mean living without. It means living with only what we need. Look around you throughout the day and consider the excesses. The next time something breaks ask whether it can be repaired instead of replacing it.
Besides, when our lives are simpler, our stress decreases. We no longer feel the pressure to acquire more things. We have time to pursue adventures and spend time with people we enjoy.
“It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
“The simplest things are often the truest.”
– Richard Bach
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSimplicityDay
Do or stop doing things to simplify your day. Read about Henry David Thoreau or Walden.
Tips to Simplifying Life
- Identify what’s important to you. This list will include things, goals, and activities. While we don’t all have the ultimate goal of reaching Mars, don’t dismiss the small achievements. Those don’t necessarily equate to clutter. They’re stepping stones. However, if they aren’t a part of the bigger picture, consider slashing them.
- When it comes to things, you have to admit, we hold on to some things for sentimental reasons. On the other hand, we buy too much junk for all the wrong reasons. Identify the ones that are the most important and get rid of the rest.
- Put a ban on impulse buying. Make a list before any shopping trip. If it’s not on the list, it can’t be bought (unless it’s toilet paper, that’s the one exception). Otherwise, you will get by until the next trip. You will also see an improvement in your bank account.
- When it comes to activities, consider the ones that are time wasters and have no value. Again, which ones are important to you? Do they bring you joy? Do they improve you or the world around you? If the answer is no to any of these questions, why is this activity still in your life?
Post on social media using #NationalSimplicityDay to encourage others to join in paying it forward.
NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY HISTORY
We were unable to identify the creator of National Simplicity Day.
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July 12th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
A month after the U.S. declared war on Great Britain, U.S. General William Hull led troops in the invasion of Canada.
The inventor William Goodale received U.S. patent No. 24,734 for his invention of a “machine for making paper bags.” While not the first of its kind, Goodale own the Union Paper-Bag Machine Company designed the machine with a cutter that prepped the paper for folding.
Congress creates the Medal of Honor.
Democratic candidate for president Walter F Mondale names Geraldine Ferraro as his vice-presidential running mate. Ferraro was the first woman named by a major U.S. political party as a vice-presidential candidate.
July 12th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Henry David Thoreau – 1817
Best known for his poetry and philosophy, Henry David Thoreau lived a life of many roles including naturalist, historian, tax resister, abolitionist and surveyor to name a few. His book, Walden, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.
George Eastman – 1854
The American businessman founded Eastman Kodak in 1892 with Henry A. Strong. The Eastman Kodak company ushered in an era of inexpensive cameras that allowed the general public to capture photos, not just those with large, bulky and expensive cameras. They didn’t have to know how to develop the film either; the Eastman Kodak Company did that, too.
Louis B Mayer -1884
The American film-maker co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1924. For more than 90 years, the company has been producing and distributing films and creating television shows.
Lyudmila Pavlichenko – 1916
A sniper in the Soviet Red Army, Pavlichenko served during World War II. Her 309 confirmed kills earned her the nickname “Lady Death” and is the most successful female sniper in history.
Richard Simmons – 1948
Give a round of jazz hands for this birthday celebration! Born Milton Teagle Simmons, the television fitness personality and motivational speaker gained notice in the late 1970s into the 1980s for his fitness philosophy. He also developed a popular video fitness series called Sweatin’ to the Oldies.