Simple Guy vs. Simpleminded….

I end many of my posts with the words “but I’m just a simple guy so what do I know?”  That is just my way of saying what Will Rogers said about all he know is what he reads in the newspaper. I don’t have some inside knowledge about anything I post about here.  One thing I want to make sure that you understand is that there is a world of difference between being a simple guy and being simpleminded. One of the biggest insults someone could call me is simpleminded.

The dictionary says simpleminded is:

lacking mental capacity and subtlety syn: dim-witted, simple

This definition is OK as far as it goes but to me simpleminded really mean having a lazy mind and in my mind that is the biggest problem for humanity.  It is the root cause of most of the problems of the world. Simple minded people don’t take the time to study something but instead just parrot what their favorite talking head tells them. Sometimes it is something that they have grown up with but never taken the time to see it is really true. Lazy minds drive me crazy.

I am a simple guy in that I am just not attuned to the big luxuries in life. I tasted caviar once and hated it. I can’t see driving a $50,000 car when a $15,000 one will get me from A to B just as well.  I can’t see spending $200 on a restaurant bill when most of it goes down the toilet the next day.

I am just not a high brow type of guy. Never have been; never will be. One of the ugliest things to me is a smirk. One of our recent president was very good at that and maybe that is the primary reason I celebrated his last day in the White House.  Smirking is where a person gives you the impression that he is superior to you. I totally believes that God loves the homeless guy as much as the CEO who gets millions of dollars in bonuses each year. He loves those 50,000 little kids in foreign countries who died last week of malnutrition just as much as any kid in the U.S.

I admit that I probably have more empathy than some people. I cry regularly when I see one human being showing compassion for another. Even though I am not a Catholic I swell up with emotions when I read many of the words of the most recent Catholic Pope.

I am a simple guy with a simple purpose in life. I don’t want to be famous or stinking rich. In many ways those things cause more pain than not. I thank the Lord that I have enough to eat and a healthcare plan that I can finally count on. I thank the Lord for having something as simple as good drinking water when so many other in the world don’t.

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….


  1. Bravo to an understanding of word derivations. I, too, value the theme of a simple life, but abhor the idea of being seen as a simpleton. In a very well-known (and long-titled) book by the children’s author E.L. Konigsburg, one of the main characters states enthusiastically, “I LIKE complications” – in the sense of solving puzzles and facing interesting challenges, though.

    But so many people, through impatience, lack of compassion, greed, (simplistic thinking?), etc. seem to create a fairly toxic kind of complexity in their lives and in the lives of others. What was that old Shaker song: “Tis a Gift to be Simple” ? Amen!

    While I am way too aware of my own limitations, I still try to live my own life as rationally simple as I can (after all, how smart can a banjo picker be? 🙂 ), while as much as possible being benignly “dumb like a fox”. Thanks for your sharing, RJ.


  2. Hi Steve. Yes, people have a tendency to make their own lives too complicated. They take on too much of what they think others want them to be. It can become toxic as you say. Too many just let others determine who that are instead of discovering their own paths. That is the short and long of it….

    You are definitely not a simple-minded banjo picker. I learn something from each of your comments and admire your life life experiences.


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