GRE Issue Essay 98

“Anyone can make things bigger and more complex. What requires real effort and courage is to move in the opposite direction-in other words, to make things as simple as possible.”

In the modern world, one can effortlessly complicate things further due the easy access to technology. Science and technology have developed to the extent that man is now handicapped without access to the gadgets that have been designed to make life easier for mankind. However, the truth is that it is very difficult to make things simple as it would not only require effort, but also a great amount of courage to deviate from the common living standards of society.

Today, people do not step out of their homes without their mobile handsets. They feel the need to answer phone calls even when they are on the move or going out on a holiday. It is very easy to get a phone that provides you with internet access and the facilities of an in-built camera, to keep you better connected when you are moving out for a holiday. Your country’s laws may not permit you to drive while talking on your cell phone, so you may have to pull over when you receive a call. There may be a requirement from your office to download something important from the internet, so you may again have to pull over to access the internet from your phone. It is very easy to buy a laptop and carry it wherever you go in order to increase the amount of workload you can handle when you are away from your office.

What is the end result? You have ended up complicating the process of moving out for a holiday. Not only has driving become complicated, but you have also ruined your holiday. The simplest thing would be to leave your laptop and cell phone behind when you are proceeding on leave, but how many career-oriented people will be able to do this? The answer would probably amount to a negligible percentage of people who are willing to go for such a holiday, despite the fact that it would be a much simpler option to call up the office from a local phone booth to find out about the latest developments. This is because one would require a great deal of effort and courage to do a thing like this which ultimately amounts to making things as simple as possible. The reason being that no one wants to lose in the competition to prove that he is aware of the latest technological developments no matter how much complicated his life has become.

Nowadays, houses are fitted with numerous technological gadgets like air conditioners, electrical chimneys, burglar alarm systems, lighting systems, cooking ranges, wall-mounted television sets etc. These gadgets may be centrally controlled with the help of remote devices. A small flaw in the circuitry will make the residents of the house run around for repair technicians as the fittings are so complicated that the residents may not be able to identify the problem on their own. A simple way to end this problem would be to do away with the superfluous gadgets and keep only those that are the bare minimum requirements for comfortable survival. Will it be possible for anyone to live in such a condition especially when he can easily afford to buy the rest of the hi-tech gadgets? The only thing holding him back would be the effort required to do away with the things that are making his life complicated and stick to the things that will help him lead a comfortable and simple life.

In conclusion, it can be said that one will have to gather enough courage and put in an adequate amount of effort if he wants to make things as simple as possible as this would mean opposing the common trend.