Keep it simple stupid

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

We have all heard about using the KISS method, most commonly known as “Keep It Simple Stupid.” It’s very easy to recall when we see someone else violating this sacred rule, but I am not always sure we recognize the fact that maybe, just maybe, we are ourselves in violation often.

It goes without saying that there is nothing wrong with making a good thing better. Who wouldn’t want that? Does anyone else but me feel that we have made our lives and our children’s lives more complex than they were ever intended to be? I sure hope this doesn’t sound like another old geezer story about how wrong the world is now. But it makes you wonder if we have all just gotten so smart that we traded intelligence for common sense.

As I have said many times, I grew up in a very nice home and had most of whatever I needed to be happy and healthy. I also knew a lot of kids that seemed to live about the same. This is not an attack as to how bad I had it. More of this is how it was, and we all seemed OK with it.

I still have the picture buried in a box somewhere. I was 9-10 years old, and my parents allowed me to invite a dozen or so of my friends over for a party. It was a blast. It lasted a couple hours. No one stayed all night. No parents came. And I don’t remember having one every year up until adulthood. It was just one simple party. Does KISS apply here today?

Shafer Park also comes to mind. I absolutely loved baseball — games twice a week and practice on Saturday. In the wintertime I did Cub Scouts for a few years. Best I remember, other than that, my time was spent at home. Yes, it was a much safer time for kids as we left in the morning. The only rule was when it got dark, we had better be home. There were no traveling teams or activities that kept us away from home. There weren’t a lot of times spent eating out either. We ate around the kitchen table all together most every night. Does KISS apply here today?

We didn’t live around our TV set. We had three channels with only one set for the entire house. The fourth channel came when I was a young teenager when we got WXIX out of Cincinnati and the wonderful Larry Smith Puppet Show. I didn’t even know what a remote was. It was always the kids’ job to change it to one of the other two channels. Like the joke says, if the president had an ,we were screwed as it was broadcast over all the channels. We didn’t have 150-plus channels and pay per views or a $125 or so cable or satellite bill to pay. We had three channels we watched from a black and white TV set, and it was free. Does KISS apply here today?

My grandmother lived next door to us, and I remember staying there in the summer occasionally, but for the most part we were with mom. Dad went to work and farmed, and he was the only source of income. A flashback reminds me of being in the third grade and talking and bragging to my friends about how much money our dad’s made. My Dad was one of the highest at $125 per week. I wonder how far that would go today to support a household. But thinking it over, we had one car, and no toys such as boats, four-wheelers and the like. We had all that we needed, but not much extra. I don’t remember anyone I knew that had more than needed or anything that made them a slave to a possession. Does the KISS method apply?

When my wife Mary Jean and I were younger we lived fairly simple. But over the years I wonder if we have bought into getting more stuff and doing more things.

All my kids and their families are light years ahead of where I was at their age. Are they just wiser than I, or is it just easier to not use KISS in today’s world?

If we’re all honest here, the KISS method of living really doesn’t not apply in our world today. But the big question to me is, what has it cost us to abandon it?

For instance, with all the chairs on our porches, when is the last time any of us sat in them and did nothing? Have we neglected the older folks in our families just for the simple reason we do not have time to visit them? Have we become slaves to the events, activities, programs and clubs we now belong to? Not even to mention the multiple cars, boats, trinkets and gadgets we must work so hard to pay for.

Come on — aren’t we all smarter than that?

Keep it simple stupid.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist