Luab: Simplicity

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Saturday, January 19, 2013

LAST Friday, Jan.11, Mirasol, a very nice and simple girl, asked me during our Christian meditation just what was my definition of simplicity. I nearly answered her “you are my idea of what being simple means,” but I was afraid I would disconcert her and there was no time really left for an elaborate definition. I decided instead to speak about simplicity today.

A woman is simple when she lives within her means. She is not ashamed to be seen in the same clothes or even in the same accessories. Shoes, bags, clothes and jewelry (fashion or otherwise) are just supposed to enhance one’s beauty. These are not status symbols.

A woman who lives simply tends to her family, does not climb ladders in society, does not splurge on unnecessary items and enjoys the company of her husband, her children and her true friends.


She does not even care about what others think of her. She does not live according to the expectations of others and does not worry about ulterior motives. She takes people as they are and tries always to understand whatever actions she sees which are normally not acceptable.

A simple woman does not flatter, nor does she even recognize flattery or if she does, she is able to dismiss it without worrying as to the whys and wherefores of the left-handed complements.

The irony of life today is the fact that the more educated we have become, the more we hide behind words and innuendos to the point that some private jokes at gatherings are aimed at simple people.

Hypocrisy has raised its head even in close circles of friends that one friend of mine said, “I’ve stopped playing mahjong even if I enjoyed the game. Our stakes were not high but I noticed that if anyone stood up to go to the restroom, the others would talk about her!” What a tragedy! Actually we, woman, need friends. We like being in a group. Today, however, some things have gotten out of hand. We have forgotten how to enjoy the simple things in life. It is no shame to eat at an inexpensive place.

Someone who is able to say, “Let’s not go there. We will just be wasting our money for the servings are so tiny and expensive,” should be applauded. Why? Because if we want our Philippines to get back to its financial stability, we all must learn to live simply.

In the early 1900’s we were not yet this spoiled. Cebuano’s were even known for being thrifty. I remember my late grandparents who refused to eat at restaurants because it was a waste of money. Today we have gone to the extremes. If one has to celebrate, then one must be prepared to spend. The ordinary eating place is no longer acceptable.

There are places now whose buffet offering is above the P1,000 per person. Again I hear comments like: “If one can afford it, why not?” Why not indeed is a good question. Think about it.

We blame our culture because we often say; treating others to a feast is part of our nature. We want to share our happiness. Does “sharing” mean showing off? There are plenty of very good eating places now in Cebu, which are really affordable and the food is delicious. Can’t we go back to celebrations which are not so costly? Even office parties can prove to be a big dent in the pay envelope of the middle income group. Wasn’t there a time in our history where we did our own cooking and we brought whatever we prepared to our party? Today we call that “sharing” pot luck.

However, for some of us, “pot luck” means ordering from a caterer because we are afraid our home cooking would not be good enough. In the past we were able to explain with a sheepish smile why our homemade bread wasn’t light enough and the bread was still welcome. Not so today!

Let me end my sharing by saying, “A simple woman is not afraid to be herself.” She trusts everything to God. She does not at all mind all the things which her neighbors say she is missing.

We still can go back to being simple folks, indulging in simple pleasures and addressing just our simple needs. One advantage we have in being simple is that we have a God who loves us just as we are. So if we weave and dance our way through our streets in praise of Sto. Niño in a once a year celebration then let it be. Pit Senyor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 20, 2013.


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