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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

“SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION” is a famous quote delivered by famous italian polymath “Leonardo Da Vinci”. Simplicity is easy to understand. Speaking the truth is simple,  and uttering a lie is complex. 

A famous quote by Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, a Dutch computer scientist about simplicity: “simplicity is a great virtue but requires hard work to achieve it, and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better”.

Even nature encourages simplicity, and efficiency. Simplicity and efficiency both are inter-related to each other. A simple life leads to an efficient life. The mother earth nurchers simplicity. Nature strikes a balance between predator and prey.

For example: if a lion hunts for a 100 times its succion rate will be less than 50%, and a Dazzle of Zebras with its stripes can make a lion fool. A lion in the distance sees a Dazzle of Zebras like a “huge lump of meat”. We can observe simplicity in viruses and bacteria also.

“Henry Wardsworth Longfellow an american poet said that “simplicity in character, in manners, in style, in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity”.

Even our father of nation Mahatma Gandhi practices and preaches simplicity all through his life. He believes in  “Simple living and High thinking”. We Indians are simple. Mahatma Gandhi never wore a shirt. Simplicity builds character. Simplicity adopted by Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy is exemplary. For example, Sri Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman famously known as C.V. Raman an indian physicist spends only 500 rupees to get a nobel prize. Adi Shankaracharya an indian philosopher and theologian, beautifully explains the concept of simplicity in his “Kaupina Panchakam”. 

Simplicity will apply in food habits also. Take the example of food waste in America in 2020. 80 billion IBS of food is thrown away, 40% of the US food supply is wasted, 1600$ worth of produce per family is wasted. Over consumption of food leads to obesity. “A sick man can never be happy, an obese man can never be healthy. I can say that obesity is like a disease. So, an obese man can never be happy and healthy”. The current US adult obesity rate stands at 42.4 percent. And it has increased by 26 percent since 2008.


Our so-called intellectual and rational human beings who claim themselves to be very efficient organisms have to learn, in fact they have to unlearn everything which they claim as “KNOWLEDGE” from mother earth. We can learn efficiency from bees, doing good to others, and teamwork. And from trees, being humble, and adapting and regenerating self healing etc….. We have to sit at the feet of nature and try to appreciate the majestic knowledge of nature. Whether you are a theist or atheist it doesn't matter. But, everyone must appreciate the bountiful and benevolent nature that has created this beautiful earth. Wonders that we have explored and utilized till date. But, at the same time we should acknowledge with all humility that we didn't even scratch the surface of “knowledge”.


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