I’ve come to the conclusion that life has become too easy. We live in a day and age of outrageous self-indulgence. I look around and envy the people that have life so good that their biggest qualm is being called by the wrong pronoun, getting the side-eye for being fat, or watching a billionaire buy out a social media platform.
There are millions of people whose basic needs–shelter, food, and water–are not being met. Millions more are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table with rising costs. Then, there are millions more suffering from chronic illness and barely keeping their head above water. Countless more men, women, and children are abused in their own home or by people whom they should be able to trust. None of the aforementioned groups have the energy to worry about pronouns or pop culture.
I’ve been musing on this a lot lately. How do I breach the topic without sounding like a pretentious, judgemental know-it-all? I guess just need to speak my mind.
I have learned through personal experience that difficulties today will liberate you tomorrow. Perhaps not literally tomorrow, but it is true that adversity builds character. The painful criticisms may serve as a mirror inwards. Our terrible losses teach us to appreciate what we still have. Regret motivates us to permanently change our behaviors.
The easy path today makes a hard path tomorrow. The hard path today makes an easier path tomorrow.
We would rather do the easy thing than the hard thing. That’s natural and normal. We might view it as a mountain. You can climb it, or you can avoid it, but it’s not going away. There is always a mountain. There is always something in front of us that we know we should do, but it just seems so hard.
It’s easier to complain that systemic racism is the root cause of your obesity than to take responsibility for you health, irrespective of who or what is to blame. It’s easier to believe that you’re being underpaid due to bias than it is to give your career 110% and prove your value. It’s easier to abhor all members of the opposite sex after a bad romantic relationship than it is to analyze what went wrong and try to prevent a similar pattern from recurring.
On any given day, we can avoid the climb. We can stand at the bottom, look up, and say, “No, thanks. Maybe the mountain won’t be here tomorrow.” But we all know that the mountain will still be there tomorrow. And instead of looking smaller, it feels even more daunting.
The choice is yours, but the mountain isn’t going away. The longer you put off the hard thing you know you need to do, the harder it becomes to get started. The climb can be the fun part, once you get started.