Tonight's Quaker study evening mused on simplicity and the simplicity testimony. Questions a plenty. Does living simply necessarily mean aspiring (!) to have less stuff or is it more about practicing a kind of mindfulness in order to appreciate what's important in the here and now?
The evening concluded with a reading of this quote:
Personal pride does not end with noble blood. It leads people to a fond value of their persons, especially if they have any pretence to shape or beauty. Some are so taken with themselves it would seem that nothing else deserved their attention. Their folly would diminish if they could spare but half the time to think of God, that they spend in washing, perfuming, painting and dressing their bodies. In these things they are precise and very artificial and spare no cost. But what aggravates the evil is that the pride of one might comfortably supply the needs of ten. Gross impiety it is that a nation's pride should be maintained in the face of its poor.
William Penn, 1669
Quaker faith & practice 20.29