It’s easy to sit back and let others take charge. You may not be the type who likes to appear aggressive or forward. You are not the type to thrive by being uncomfortable. Or, simply when someone else does the things you find unpleasant it makes your life easier. However, there are many dangers lurking just around the corner, when you get too laid back. Many dangers when you decide to allow others to make decisions about what you eat, what you wear, who you like or don’t like, what you do, and what you think. We think our lives are easy because everything is at our finger tips, but we do not know that we have to pay a price for it and sometimes that price is the loss of our voice and the stunting of our potentials.
Convenience can be the a gilded cage for many of us, who like the bird, must live with permanently clipped wings never knowing the joys of soaring high. We are fed information on a need to know basis and while we think we are living meaningful lives we do not realize that things have been constructed in such a way that we do not come to the truth of how little we truly experience life. Consider someone who does not have to worry about how to sustain themselves, cook, wash, clean, pay bills, or make any hard decisions about their lives. They seem to just have everything handed to them, they glide through live. However, that person is imprisoned by his ignorance of what life is about and if they are removed from their cage they cannot thrive. Others decide for them and determine what happiness should be, what the truth is and how much they can test the limits of their strength. Of course many make this choice because they think t is easy, better and safer. But as many of us know easier does not always mean better.
Consider convenience food. We all love them because they are so easy, in no time at all, presto! We have food! However, they come with their own set of problems. They have consequences for our health both young and old. They can lead to developmental issues for children, and lead to diseases such as diabetes, but we love them and we are encouraged to consume them, and we do not knowing the full story of their impact later in life. So, it is easy to be led, to be told and be inspired because it is all convenient but we lose the art of being free thinking and being creative, to make new discoveries and experience different ways of being and experiencing life. We think we are excited about things but we may not be because everything has been pre-packaged and shipped to us for our convenience. The pandemic has made it even harder for us to explore beyond what we are fed on social media. We spend so much time consuming truths that have been prepared to engage us, we depend on them to make us happy, laugh and find meaning in life and rely less on out tenacity and natural zest for live. We forget the steps we would have taken beyond those monitors that would enable us have experiences and not just view them though a glass pane. There is no longer the thrill of realizing that our efforts can yield pleasant surprises because we have forgotten what it feels like to enjoy the journey, of realizing that inconveniences hold many precious life gems that can enrich our lives. Instead we are bombarded with microwavable experiences filled with bland and unappetizing mush that has been mass produced for our enjoyment. And we are told that is what we like, and so we consume it with enthusiastic chagrin.
As a teacher of literature I see the harm of convenience in the attitudes of my students, who do not want to take the time to enjoy the experience that a novel can give. Instead, they want to pass the exam, but they do not want to engage with the work. So, they find all the summaries and videos they can and miss many live lessons and insights on human nature. They miss the opportunity to have their humanity challenged and if compromised, restored. Many persons, just like my students, say they do not have the time nor the patience to try, the courage to face challenges nor to explore beyond their predetermined ideas of what people are and what the world is like. We don’t want to struggle, we don’t want to fail, so we bury our heads in the sand, accept that this is all we know and become slaves to conveniences, a life created for us with much of our input.
Maybe it is that some do not want to enjoy the journey but the destination. Maybe it is that persons’ lives have been enriched by the modern conveniences available to many today. And yes, it is true that not all persons can and do have access to all those modern conveniences. But, where we may realize that we have become dependent on conveniences not vital to living, there is nothing wrong in questioning or being alert to how we can be lulled into inactivity by the pull of convenience.