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Know Jack #400 The Simple Life

“Men are such simple creatures.” ~Women

The above oft-quoted bon mot illustrates for me the difference between what is spoken/written and what is received. When women say this, they mean it in a derogatory sense (yes, you do.) However, when men hear/read it, we bask in the sublime blessing of its truth. We are simple creatures, and we love it.

Simplicity, that is, a simple life, may lay buried under an Everest-sized Mountain of what we must do, what we are called upon to do, and what we may be forced to do, but it is the simple life that is the dream of every man.

Now, it is my contention that whenever one is speaking about the way people—men and women—feel, think, and act, the words “always” and “never” are falsehoods. In such cases, one is speaking in generalities. Granted, some of those generalities are cultural conditioning. Others are part of our biochemical makeup. Neither origin requires apology nor does either denote superiority/inferiority.

Men are stronger than women. I can say it with no qualms whatsoever. This is not to say all men are stronger than all women. The same generality applies when people say men are simple creatures. It is also true when we speak about pleasure in simplicity. Men find pleasure in simplicity.

Which is more productive, to construct a net, build a boat and sail out onto the lake to catch fish or sit on the riverbank with a cane pole? It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. It is my opinion that the complicated option produces a bigger catch and the simple one delivers more pleasure. One feeds a family while the other feeds but one soul. I am not a fisherman, but I understand how the simplicity of this activity produces peace.

I think most men associate the concept of peace with simplicity. There is a straightforward order in simplicity I think men find attractive. I also understand that affinity for order has its dangers. Frustrate that simple order and I go from gentleman to not a nice person in seconds.

So, men are simple creatures. It’s okay to say it. But to quote Owen Wister’s character, “When you call me that, smile!”


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