He’s been getting faster each time we play. For an almost-four-year-old, Gabriel can run and have fun with such pep and excitement these days. After a very long while of laughing and playing, he chased me to the part of the yard where the forest meets the neighbor’s hedges.
“You cornered me!” I exclaimed. Then, as his outstretched arms reached for me, I spun away and darted back towards the house.
Gabriel scampered after me and asked humbly, “What’s cornered mean?”
Can you imagine not knowing what cornered means? For an almost-four-year-old, I guess the notion of being trapped within a 90 degree angle escaped his intuition. But Gabriel isn’t alone; everyone is ignorant about something, and something always seems to escape our general understanding from time to time.
In the past two years of law school, I have had my fair share of encounters with those who like to take little things and make them bigger, and I’ve come to realize something about the power of simple.
Mr. Rogers told us that he feels ”so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” Isn’t that interesting? According to this heroic advocate of love, simple things can be deep while complex things can be shallow.
Are there any Shallow Complexities in your life? Unnecessary jargon and gobbledegook that your peers make use of to seem smarter or more in control? Clashing and contrasting ideologies or contrarian political opinions meant to push your buttons and stoke societal outrage?
Are there any Deep Simplicities in your life? Compassionate descriptions and illustrations of important truths that your heroes use to serve their communities or help their neighbors in need? Loving and hope-giving messages or peacemaking sentiments meant to ease your burdens and soothe society’s soul?
Which do you prefer?
Having studied the complex, I believe there is great power in being simple: in doing simple acts, in saying simple things, in serving in simple ways.
I stopped running for a moment and looked down into my nephew’s bright blue eyes with a smile. “Cornered is when someone is stuck in a corner,” I placed my hands together, forming a V, “and they’re trapped there, in the corner. You see?”
“Oh,” said Gabriel humbly. And with that, he began to chase me again.
Simple is good.