Monday, April 30, 2007

My Simple Kind of Man

I don't know if everyone has this, but I have a song that I sort of identify my life with. It almost perfectly describes the way that I prefer to live my life and the sort of basic guiding philosophies that I think about and how I judge many of my decisions. The song is "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The basic premise of the song is stated, quite fittingly, simply in the title. It is the idea that one should live their life as simply as possible. Now simply is not meant in the same way that one might say that the Amish live simply. I take it always to mean without excessive complications of lies, deceit, crazy people, and anything else that causes you to unnaturally and difficultly balance a large number of things. It means to live your life with the pursuit of being happy and satisfied with who you are rather than pursuing the false goals of money and power.

I considered breaking the song down verse by verse, but the song takes it's own philosophy so well that the lyrics basically interpret themselves. I first heard this song during some sort of wrestling documentary. As I recall an Iowa wrestler was playing it on his guitar as they showed some clips. I remember being struck be the chords and the general sound of the song. I looked it up and began listening to the song and immediately identified with it. The way of living your life just struck a chord with me and it was one of those things that sort of stated and clarified some of my own personal thoughts and philosophies. The idea of not living life too fast and taking things as they come. Letting the problems come, not worrying about them, and getting past them and not letting them bother and destroy your life.

I guess I'll go over some of the more poignant lines that really speak to me. "Be something you love and understand." This is something that I'm not sure a lot of people do and I personally thing that it's part of the reason that so many people are depressed and unhappy in this world. People too often are obsessed with how other people see them or other extrinsic things. So they hate the people that they come because they're being what they think other people want from them and may even curb their own beliefs and morals in order to achieve those things that they think others will respect them for. Being a simple kind of man. In the end I try to be someone that I love and someone that I can understand, regardless of what others think. As long as I can look myself in the mirror and be proud of the way that I live my life, than I think my life will be happy and fulfilled. I think this idea is punctuated by the penultimate verse. "Forget your lust for the rich man's gold. All that you need is in your soul." Too often we let our pursuits for riches and success interfere with our true happiness. While I certainly place a large amount of value on being successful, I find that the success is tainted when it is achieved through ill means or by doing something that will ultimately make you happy.

I think the advice in the last verse further illuminates these concepts. "Boy don't you worry, you'll find yourself." A line that expresses the fact that if you keep these things simple your journey through life will still likely be a rocky one, but you'll eventually find who you are and be able to be true to who you are. "Follow your heart and nothing else." Again the point of being true to yourself leading you to your eventually true happiness and satisfaction is pointed out.

This song has meant a lot to me since I've heard it. It's one of those songs that when I've lost my way I'll hear it and I'll remember who I am and who the person is that I long to be and I begin working on closing that distance again. It's one of those songs that creates an are of wist (I think I just made that word up) around me.

All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

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