I was thinking about the aspect of our vow that embraces "simplicity." I was wondering how in the world we tangibly embrace that value... I'm self-aware enough that I see glimpses of systemic behaviors in me about clothing, gadgets, and general stuff, along with my penchant to toss things before they are broken (yikes!). And I am shocked at the statistic that the USA contains 5% of the population while we consume about 23-26% of the world's energy in goods and services--obviously something is wrong systemically.
Another way in which I am addressing the issue of simplicity is in the area of my work. I am a classic perfectionist, where is to say that everything has to be the best it can be before I want anyone to see/experience it.
My penchant reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha, where Martha appears to be upset that preparations are less than they should be when Jesus comes by for lunch. She asks Jesus to ask Mary to help. Jesus replies, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one." In one reading of this text Jesus is saying: "Martha, stop with trying to pull off a gourmet dinner...just get something simple...maybe just some PB&Js...There is something more going on here than what YOU come up with, which Mary has picked up on."
This speaks of a simplicity that is unafraid of judgment when it comes to work output. Sometimes absolute excellence is required; other times simply button-up PB&Js are great and we should throw them out there.