A lil’ dab ‘il do ya (translation: A little dab will do you / interpretation: All you need is a little bit). I remember hearing that a lot as a child. It seemed the most appropriate phrase to my parents any time I was in control of dispensing the quantity of anything. But you know, “A lil’ dab ‘il do ya” is the perfect reference for a lot of things in life. If we could only master our desire for consuming, stockpiling, or pack-ratting things (even emotional baggage) the world might be a simpler, more peaceful place.
Now tell me, how can you apply this to your life? Me…I can just tell you by looking around my house – I’ve got more stuff than I need, or care to deal with on any given day – especially when my five year old decides to pull it out all at once. So, why do I have it? I’ll tell you why…because I failed to remember, “A lil’ dab ‘il do ya.” But I’m not the only one with that problem, am I?
My resolve in the face of relentless advertising, a wife to please, or puppy dog eyes of a child broke down way too many times. And now we all realize it, as we have to clean, repair, or move this stuff. I hate moving!
Even when we come to our senses and jettison bags full of this stuff to the local shelters and donation drop-offs, the moment is short due to the realization that it didn’t make a real dent at all. That’s because we still kept too many things, claiming some notion of the sentimentality of what remains. What’s worse? The fact that somehow those same things surprisingly lose their sentimentalism too soon after that thought.
A rap artist aptly entitled his song, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems, but the song could have just as appropriately been Mo’ Stuff, Mo’ Problems; because, after all, the money wouldn’t be the problem if we were giving more and accumulating less, right?
Aside from the material things, do you clutter your relationships with stuff? Accumulating unhealthy characteristics or engaging in destructive behaviors in order to perpetrate some false self-image? I can tell you our youth do it; if for no other reason than to “fit in” somewhere. And how do you think they get that idea? We model it for them every day. But less is more. Just think…the less time we spend trying to be somebody else, the more time we have to perfect who we actually are.
We’ve got to simplify our personal lives. Why, you say? Have you ever seen an episode of that television show Hoarders? Well…you know, the lives we live in our hearts and minds can get like that too if we let it – stockpiling grudges, resentments, regrets, failures, loss, hurts, even unexpressed needs or desires.
Less is more! How about giving some of that up; trading some of that off; transforming some of that into something new? More “thank yous,” “I’m sorrys,” “I forgive yous,” “I love yous;” more listening, patience, sharing, consideration ensures profoundly less stress and strife, and significantly more joy, peace, hope, inspiration, strength to our everyday lives.
Hey…few things change over night, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. So here’s a start: “A lil’ dab ‘il do ya!” Because sometimes less is more.
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