“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Simple. The credit for this bit of brilliance goes to French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how less is more. As I plan to clean two offices (and perhaps some closets and drawers) this month, the joy of simplicity and reduced clutter is a main driver. Isn’t finding the core often more rewarding than adding another layer?

I was also struck by the insanity and embarrassment of our accrual of stuff as I was watching Beyond Belief, a documentary about an organization founded by two American women whose husbands were killed on September 11th, whose mission is to reach beyond differences of culture and geography to embrace the most essential of connections: humanity. They provide support to widows in Afghanistan who have been afflicted by war, terrorism and oppression. In one scene, one of the founders is visiting with Afghani widows and is asked for pictures of her home. She recoils in shame thinking of how much she has and what it would feel like to reveal this to these destitute women.

If your mother ever told you about starving children to motivate you to finish what was on your plate, you may be skeptical about the linearity of your meal or possessions and the lot of others. Even if indirect, isn’t there something that feels good about living more simply so that others may simply live? On a strictly selfish plane, I sense that letting go of unnecessary belongings creates space and energy for more of life.

I hope you’ll join me in  taking away that which leads toward perfection.

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