Day 13, 2019


Authors: Joe Olivet and Melissa Barber

Happy Thirteenth Day of Thanks Everyone!

Today we give thanks for simplicity and its ability to make us innately aware of the small, yet beautiful things in life. Enjoy this sharing of thanks from Joe Olivet.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, simplicity is defined as the “state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded.”

I aim to live my life like this. I aim to guide my children to live their lives much the same way.I aim to value the simple things in life – a quiet moment, an open field, fresh snow, the time after it stops raining, the time in my car driving home, an episode of Seinfeld, etc.

In the military there is an acronym we used at times, K.I.S.S. – keep it simple stupid. It sound simple but not always. What’s the straightest line between A – Z?

I stress simplicity to my students, their parents, co-workers, etc. Again, it sounds simple but not always.

I have always told my oldest child to keep it simple – drink your water, keep your circle small, mind your business, and work hard – keep it simple. Now that he’s 20, he is seeing the light – keeping it simple.

My second oldest child is an observer, just like me – she keeps it simple and follows her routine. At 17 she has learned to keep her circle small. However, she likes things so simple, she has become too rigid at times. We’re slowly working on going with the flow because we can only control what’s within arm’s reach. We’re making progress.

My youngest is five – we call her the destroyer (out of love). I’m aiming to find the middle ground with her. She appears to be very bright and things come easy to her (we attribute this to her older siblings). We stress to her to slow down and enjoy what’s around her. She’s a work in progress – we get a lot of “side eye” from her.

In our busiest days – remember to take a moment and look around – the simple bird flying by, the swaying of a tree in the wind, leaves blowing by you on a sidewalk. 


J. Olivet

As we give thanks for simplicity, we highlight the organization A Free Bird (, which is a Brooklyn based non-profit that allows children from the ages of 6-18 who are patients or survivors of juvenile cancer and other chronic diseases to explore their artistic passions and do creative expression through the arts.  Please consider donating your time and resources to this wonderful organization. 

Love Ya, 

Have a Great Day of Thanks!

Melissa Barber

Published by: Dream Without Borders

Artist| Scientist| Creative Entrepreneur| Activist: working at intersections of arts, health, healing, and activism, my practice focuses on the performance and performative articulations of vulnerable bodies, exploring and examining expressions of identity and belonging. I hold particular interest in the lives and aspirations of African Diaspora/Black Atlantic bodies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Categories Melissa's 2019, Melissa's Thanks, Notes From The People