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Principled Simplicity for individuals

Eight types of Simplicity
Principled Simplicity

  1. Material Simplicity
  2. Behavioural Simplicity
  3. Attitudinal Simplicity
  4. Thought Simplicity
  5. Action Simplicity
  6. Procedural Simplicity
  7. Food Simplicity
  8. Communication Simplicity

Join / Help Spread “PRINCIPLED SIMPLICITY” Movement & help the longevity of the planet

Exnora International was founded essentially to protect the environment by enlisting people’s participation. Thanks to the enthusiasm and overwhelming response from the people, the organisation has over 50,000 Civic Exnora branches in the Residential Colony / street level. City village level, there are nearly one thousand Exnora Innovators Clubs to initiate, guide and support Civic Exnora Activities. Civic Exnora has in its membership Home Exnoras, representing each home.

The widespread awareness created by Exnora has resulted in hundreds of clean and green streets; and in some pockets, entire areas have been turned into verdant lung spaces.

Exnora activities have been a lot “curative” in nature.  Civic Exnoras had formulated various novel and effective methods for disposal of garbage and pollutants generated indiscriminately by ourselves.

Exnora also initiated innovative “Preventive” measures to restrict the mass generation of garbage and pollutants including zero waste management programmes for making waste into wealth. Another mission has been the practice of “Principled Simplicity”.

Pollution is the end-result of a vicious chain – reaction caused by man’s vanity.

Leading an extravagant lifestyle involves various indulgences and excessive consumption; excessive consumption involves enhanced production; and excessive production leads naturally to pollution.

Answer! Practise Simplicity and austerity and save Mother Earth from stifling pollution.

Before you buy something, ask yourself these five questions:

Do I want it? – wanting is not the same as needing, therefore think.  If your answer is ‘yes’, then go on to the next question.

Do I need it? – if your answer is ‘yes’, move on to the next question.

Can I afford it? – think well, but do not think of your credit card, because that would mean you are increasing your debt burden.  If still your answer is ‘yes’, move on.

Can I do without it? – if absolutely convinced that you need it, say ‘yes’ and move on to the last question.

Can’t I postpone it? – if you can answer affirmatively to this question, you have contributed to the “Principled Simplicity” programme.

Even when it is absolutely necessary, don’t buy excess. Buy what is exactly needed and what can be and will be really consumed.

Ask questions like
Am I buying more than what I actually need?
Will my buying end up in severe pollution?
Will the product after use and the materials used for packing be recycled?
Will the product and materials used for packing cause environmental degradation?

Your thought process in raising the above three questions to yourself, is called ‘Psych Cycling’ as coined by Exnora. Psych means mind. The Cycling actually takes place in your mind before you buy. If it is done later there will be a proper recycling of the product and the materials used for packing. And they will not become hazardous waste. Do you know that some of the biscuit aluminium coated wrappings cannot be recycled?

Disposable Age: Use and throw has become a culture. We want disposables. More we use disposables, one day we will see our planet becoming disposable. We are becoming like white ants and we are eating the very planet in which we live.

Love life, not luxuries – Join the “Principled Simplicity” movement.

1. Reduce when you consume / use

It is left to your own imagination. One example is when we eat especially if is a buffet. We should not try to stock all food at a time and instead go for helpings. Wasting food on the plate is a serious crime.

A party, a wedding, a family function or any get-together involves a number of guests.  We need to satisfy their taste buds, not shock them with a twelve-course spread.  It is humanly impossible for any one to consume so many items.  The guests may probably say to themselves, “Wow, a huge spread, insipid though”.  Net result of this ugly ostentation, tons of food consigned to the trash can. We should remember that there are 200 million people world over who are Below the Poverty Line.

Another example
There are people who send their two children to the same school by two different cars. This is gross disservice to the concept of conservation.

2. Reduce when you discard

This is where Exnora is popular. Before throwing your waste into the municipality truck think whether the waste can be reused or recycled .Thus reduce the amount of real, residual and absolute waste to bare minimum.
The quantity of purchases should be need-based; not on your affordability.
When the chasm between the haves and the have notes is widening by the day, any kind of exhibitionism is a serious crime against nationalism.

Dangers of ostentation

Though, by and large, people would like to tailor their needs according to their means, they often suffer from a dangerous syndrome known as “Keeping-up-with-the-Jones”.  The problem begins when a household decides to possess all that their neighbours have.  Worse will follow, once they contract another disease known as “inferiority complex”.  They imagine that their status depends on their expensive possessions.  This is more so in bigger towns and cities. These financially (eventually social too) debilitating diseases are worsened by a more virulent ‘virus’ known as ‘credit cards’ generously distributed by a new generation of bankers.

There is a world of difference between one who spends and one who squanders.

While the steady-minded former seeks to satisfy his bare needs, the petty-minded latter panders to his greed.

While the former would, like a bee, sweat for his livelihood, the latter would invariably be a drone sitting on ill-deserving inheritance.

While the former is a responsible citizen, the latter is a burden on humanity.

While the former thinks of utility, the latter gloats on exhibitionism.

The quantity of purchases should be need-based; not on your affordability.

Man is the only animal that has been Biblically shamed.  He, therefore, unlike any other creation, has to cover himself in clothing – to hide his nudity and to protect himself against the vagaries of nature.

In our torrid climate, cotton clothes are ideal. They are both, comfortable and cheap.  A person who goes for an Armani suit worth a lakh of rupees is not covering himself in glory. 

Any footwear store can sell you a good pair of shoes for Rs.500-600.  However, if one were to borrow (beg, steal, accept a bribe of even harass the wife for dowry) to get himself a pair of Bally shoes for almost Rs.10,000, it can only be termed unwise.

A person once flaunted his wrist watch which cost him 4, 00,000 Hong Kong Dollars.  That, when converted gives you a staggering Rs.20 lakhs. I said, “instead of spending that kind of money to merely adorn your wrist, you could have started a watch manufacturing unit, which would have generated employment to a few hundred people”. 

When the chasm between the haves and the have notes is widening by the day, any kind of exhibitionism is a serious crime against nationalism.

Your “Principled Simplicity” badge proclaims that you are a concerned citizen


It would be in our interest to know a few eternal truths which may help open the eyes of those blinded by lucre (lucre is filthy wealth).

  1. You can eat from a golden plate, but you can’t eat gold.
  2. February has only 28 days to both, the pavement-dweller and the inmate of Buckingham Palace. Nature is a great leveller, so let us think beyond ourselves.

The non–practice of Simplicity forces one into two major social evils, both cognizable offences – accepting bribes and dowry harassment.

Simplicity should be one’s principle in life.

Principled Simplicity brings with it a greater virtue known as humility. And it is a healthy combination of these virtues that endears one to all his fellowmen.  Principled Simplicity is gilt – edged insurance to a happy, peaceful and successful life.

All things natural are simple and beautiful – flowers, trees, hills, rivers, the oceans, the sky, animals, birds and every other creation of God (except man, of course).  Man ruins himself by succumbing to the lures of luxury. 

The path of Principled Simplicity is strewn with many advantages for human upliftment.

  • You become humble.
  • You experience a sense of fulfilment.
  • It relieves mental stress and tension and helps lead a healthier, happier life.
  • Abstinence from ostentation gives you a feeling of having contributed something to society.
  • (On the lighter side)  Principled Simplicity will not attract burglars and thieves.
  • Since you do not indulge in a buying spree, you help in conservation.  Conservation results in reduced production.  Reduced production means lesser pollution.
  • Conservation measures help in reduced exploitation of natural resources – oil, coal, gas, etc., which means you are providing for posterity

One thing is as sure as daylight.  If man does not volunteer to practise Principled Simplicity, a time will come, sooner than later, when he will be forced to do so.  Man’s greed knows no bounds.  His mindless exploitation of nature will have to stop in his own interests. 

‘Prevention is better than cure’, goes the adage.  Let us get wiser and make ‘Principled Simplicity’ a universal movement.

Noble symbols of simplicity

There are a number of examples to exemplify the virtues of Principled Simplicity.  A few noble souls to whom simplicity was a way of life; a religion almost, were:  Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mahavir, Mohammed Prophet, Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, Tiruvalluvar, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinobha Bhave, Jayaprakash Narayan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Kamaraj and our very own Mother Teresa.

They have attained an eternal place in the Pantheon of the Gods.

Abdul Kalam, a man of humble origins, hailing from a nondescript hamlet in remote southern Tamil Nadu, who with sheer dint of hard work rose to the highest office of Presidency of the world’s largest democracy and attracted millions of followers.

Jesus Christ was no match to Pontius Pilot in grandeur and trappings of royalty, but it was his simple nature who had people flocking to him. No wonder he is known as the Good Shepherd.

However, one classic example of how simplicity can transform a Prince into a paragon of virtue and turn him into an immortal is, Buddha.  Born as Prince Siddhartha, he lived in the palace till his twenties.  Married. 

One day he witnessed a suffering near the palace and that was to change his entire being.  He gave up his royalty and sought bliss (Nirvana).  He sat in prayer and meditation under the “Bodhi” tree and became the Enlightened One.  It was not his princely paraphernalia, but his renunciation of it, that elevated him from an ordinary mortal to the highest pedestal of immortal glory. 

“The half-naked fakir” (as Churchill called Gandhi) negotiated with the British rulers sitting amidst them in a mere loin-cloth.  He came to be called the Father of the Nation not as a barrister in South Africa, but only after he trod the path of Simplicity. 

The impact of the turbaned Swami Vivekananda at the Chicago Congress of Religions still reverberates in the ecclesiastical world. 

The woman whom we had all known and often seen (at least on televisions) was the very personification of Simplicity – Mother Teresa.  She cannot be referred to as ‘late’ because she is soon to be canonized (conferred Sainthood) by the Pope.  So, the world will soon know her as Saint Teresa.

It would be apt to mention here that Princess Diana died around the same time as did Mother Teresa.  Whereas Diana was the subject of lewd articles by the British tabloids, Mother was glorified as God incarnate. That then, is the essential difference between glamorous ostentation and divine simplicity.

“Principled Simplicity” as a universal movement

In order to spread this lofty ideal, we, at Exnora have thought it fit to start a movement called “Principled Simplicity to educate people on the need for prevention of disaster, rather than seek desperate remedial measures to cure the self-inflicted injuries.

Let us, therefore, practise the highest human virtue, Principled Simplicity, voluntarily and willingly.  We must strive to make it a group effort – in our neighbourhood and at our work places.  Each one of us should enlist as many of our friends, relatives and colleagues in this movement.  They in turn should be asked to enlist as many of their known people as possible.  This should grow into a world movement, as this is aimed at “prevention” of pollution.

You should start branches at your neighbourhood level, street level, city level, state level and at the national level.   This should ultimately become a movement that would be adopted by the United Nations.  Why not?  After all, pollution is a world problem. 

Every member can be given a badge (it may cost around Rs.15/-) to identify himself as a member of the Principled Simplicity movement.  This badge should be worn by the members throughout the day in order to (a) serve as a reminder to themselves and (b) arouse the curiosity of the onlooker.  (the band and the centre line shall be in dark green and the title in black).

Besides, this movement will impress upon the people that Simplicity is a laudable trait, aimed at improving one’s locality at the micro level and the planet at the macro level.

Remember, like charity, even Simplicity begins at home.  Say to yourself, Principled Simplicity begins with me; and set forth with confidence to make the world embrace a new religion called Principled Simplicity.

“Principled Simplicity” badge signifies conservation

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