Guidance on Modesty and Simplicity
Since all of our gifts and our attributes are God given, we have no reason to be filled with pride about having them. Pride leads to all sorts of mistaken thoughts and actions. We may think ourselves superior in some way to others and therefore we may not treat them with the respect and consideration that is due to them. This is always a mistake. Humility is a great attribute and enables people to communicate with each other much more easily.
Pride sets people apart.
A second meaning of modesty concerns how we present our bodies to the world. How much of the body do we choose to show? The body has the power to arouse desire and lust in the opposite sex. Some people may aim to create lustful feelings in total strangers, but since lust without love and respect is empty and sometimes dangerous, careful thought needs to be given to the way we present ourselves. A modest person takes into account what is considered acceptable in the country they are in.
The concept of simplicity is rather strange to many in the modern world where things are far from simple. Society is made up of a vast and complicated network of individuals offering very different skills. Most people are unable to function alone, but when they are part of a team, the ‘great machine’ operates fairly successfully.
In the past, life was relatively simple in the sense that one learnt basic life skills, and everyone was fairly independent. However, progress in the material sense has to be very limited if all individuals remain unspecialised in their knowledge. In moving away from the simple life towards specialism, society must continue to recognise the important part each person has to play in the complicated web of life.
What we are aiming for is true co-operation between members of society, where all have their value, and all are regarded as being equal in the eyes of God. The simplicity comes from this acknowledgement, that all are equal and all have the same basic needs that must be catered for. It is simple. Everyone needs love, compassion, recognition, education and nurturing in all senses of the word. That is all we need. Simple, simplicity itself. How can we achieve it?