There is this song by Lynyrd Skynyrd called “simple man”. It’s one of those neutral songs that no matter what genre of music you normally listen to, you will recognize it. It has soul, it has love and it has meaning.
It tells the story of a mother consoling her son about the world. She talks about steering away from the pressures of living the fast life and not finding happiness in the temporary things, but finding love and happiness within himself. Each word has such passion. You can almost sense this mother and son in front of you as you hear the trill of the lyrics.
Whenever I hear it, it reminds me of the relationship between me and my son. These are the things I want to tell him. These are the things I want to teach him. I hope I can empower him to live a life of simplicity and not having to need materialist things to make him happy. I want him to watch me as I re-enact the mother’s wishes for the boy in the song. I am a simple woman. I am also a poor woman living a rich life I feel. For instance, I rent our home. I provide the necessities while struggling with bills with a stoic mind. I take waitressing shifts with less pay so others can make money. I have used my tips to pay for strangers food. I have given care bags to the homeless. I take my son to adventures and trips. We explore to surrounding events. He has a swing set in the backyard. I feed and play with the neighborhood children. He would not know that I struggle with finances and life, because I am a poor woman living a rich life. Money means nothing to me – humanity, love and true happiness is the real value in life.
These are things I want my son to take in. These are things that I want him to partake in his own life. I always tell him to not become me, but to become better than me while always staying honest and not losing the love in his heart. He genuinely loves people, all children do. I was just like him once, until life happened. Once, I was truly out in the world, I became disappointed and shocked by the lack of humanity and compassion. I realized that not many people had my kind of heart. I became bitter to this fact for a while, but then I realized that I didn’t need to become like them. I shouldn’t change because others did. I decided to become better. My son will have this moment pop up in his own adult life where he will have the choice to become better for the world or better within himself. I can only hope he picks the correct path by picking something up from my example. I hope my son will learn now; learn to always love oneself, to not lose oneself, to give to others, and stand up for what is right in his heart. The keys to being a simple man.