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Like the rest of the world, I’ve been intrigued with the lost Malaysian Airlines plane. In today’s world when we can find our cell phones from miles away, how can something so large just vanish? There were so many fanciful theories about what happened that it was hard to keep up. I’m actually surprised that abducted by aliens wasn’t listed as a viable option.

A few friends of mine on Facebook (and yes, they really were friends and not just people I’d met once who friended me) posted an article suggesting that there was a simple explanation: a fire on board and the pilots lost consciousness. This made complete sense. After today’s news, it looks like he was probably not far off. Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is most likely the correct explanation. 

So, it got me thinking: Why do we look for such complicated explanations when, really, the simplest is most likely the correct one. We’re told over and over again by every guru around that we need to simplify our lives. Get rid of clutter. Donate old clothes if you haven’t worn them in a year. Reduce the number of emails in your inbox. Figure out what is essential to your happiness and forget the rest. 

We dedicate so much time (and money) to simplifying our lives but then assume that the world around us is complicated. We struggle and fight to create a place of zen in this fast-paced and difficult world. But maybe the world isn’t as confusing and challenging as we make it out to be. Maybe we make it complicated because that is a way of not having to accept the simplest of truths: We are each responsible for our own actions and the outcomes of those actions.

It’s easy to pass off responsibility when you have a complicated world to blame things on. It’s easy to avoid dealing with life’s difficult experiences when you can focus on fanciful reasons why something may have happened. By accepting that the world is a simple place we also have to accept that life is not fair, some days are hard, and the only person who can improve a life is the person living it.

Some days, it’s easier to simply believe in aliens.