Be a Simple Man – or Woman

I once read that the first thing people should see is YOU, not your clothes. A famous fashion designer, Michael Kors, said it, so it especially intrigued me and made me think of all the times I noticed a person’s clothes first. Growing-up, it was on Easter morning when all the moms and daughters wore new dresses to church. When I traveled to Washington, D.C. as a kid, I saw women wearing running shoes with their suits, which made for a great conversation with my parents. Oddly enough, when I lived in D.C. after college, I decided to walk to work in sensible dress shoes like my boss wore – sensible shoes like I still wear to work today. Pretty simple.

During our youth, we adopt many habits, many from those closest to us. When we grow older and move away from home, the same thing happens. If we’re not careful every bad habit another person has, we adopt it along with the good.

We all are a work in progress. I pray daily for God’s guidance and if I’m still enough to listen, he guides me better than I guide myself. He makes me calm, less frustrated and brings a joy to my life that’s not easily understood. He continues making life “simple.”

I don’t do it often, but yesterday I connected my phone to Bluetooth in my car, so when I got up this morning and drove to the gym, a song automatically started playing that I  heard often in college, but had never really paid attention to the lyrics. Ever done that? The song was Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and I vividly remember it playing loudly at my fraternity brother’s house across the street. I loved the sound of it, but now I was relating to the words.

“Mama told me, when I was young,” the song begins. It reminded me of something I hope my boys will say about me one day. God knows they are so tired of hearing me – especially now, while they are away at college.

We teach our children so much – many times without saying anything.

Over the weekend, when one son came home to attend prom with a dear friend, he saw me emptying my closet.

If there’s one thing I hope they learn, it is to be a simple man – a simple man who depends on God’s guidance every moment of the day. If they learn it now instead of later, they won’t be emptying their closets when they’re my age – and that would be a very good thing!

Be a simple man – or woman.

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