Monday, February 18, 2013

Do You Want to Struggle?

What's the honest answer?

The honest answer is that we want the recognition, esteem, and perhaps insights that struggles bring, the experiential knowledge of interactivity, and not necessarily the cost, the moments of abject loneliness, of tepid criminality, pangs of guilt, shame, worse.

Struggling is so often a predicate for worthwhile behaviors that we forget that there could be degrees to struggle, to strife, and that those degrees of intensity don't correspond one for one to the outcomes that we desire from struggle.

Yes, this is abstract, and yes applicable to many situations.

But the honest answer is that we want an easy route to nirvana, that we want enlightenment without starvation, that we are all hypocrites  and that this is expected okay behavior.  We don't need to denigrate hypocrites.  It won't do any good.  It is in our nature.  I dislike unfair play, competitions that protect folks who shouldn't be protected, people who don't make it on their merit.  The truth, though, is that merit is a fairly fungible thing, outside of outcomes that are finitely computational, and lots of people get jobs, for instance, because of the way they make their potential boss feel, or worse.  There's a lot of unfair shit that can drive any sane person right off the cliff of insanity.

Struggle, though, isn't about getting things for free.  So why go nuts when thinking about how others get things with no struggle?

Because the truth is that we don't want to struggle, not right now.  We want to watch TV, or maybe go for a walk, or maybe just sort of read and lounge.  But the truth is also that we will suffer for our stagnation, that it is unhealthy to sit all day, mentally and physically, and that we will be happier if we don't follow our nature to be as lazy as we possibly can.    That's what self-improvement is all about, anyway, not just finding the easy road because it is possible, but weighing a host of heavier handles, and trying to pick in a dynamic fluid system that is opaque at best, trying to maintain the complexity in models where we need simplicity for the sake of moving anywhere.

At times it is easier just to throw up our hands, to sigh, to scream, to fuck everyone and everything, and just . . .

What, exactly?

Trying, struggling, learning to fail, those are the things we do the best.  To stop is to die.  To stop is to become stale.  To fail smartly is the hardest thing.  Not to align one's ego with all murmurs across the hall, not to hold fiercely onto ideology or outrage for the sake of feeling good about oneself.  To exist and be small, to step back and re-evaluate without pressure, to sink into pressure again, to flop and to make nervous gestures, to implicate, to run away, to simply accept the colossal mountain of shit we've emerged from, relatively battered, maybe, still alive, still attempting to run a solid respectable life without giving in

To stray purposefully away from everything that is cheap and easy, not for the sake of principle so much as because cheap and easy things are so very expensive. To learn from the sins of our youth, and not proselytize sin.

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