I think I enjoy the competition. I enjoy challenges. I like to prove myself. I like to prove that I am better than you expected.
Yes, I think that is why I have lived life in a way that I (and others) might sometimes define as “hard”.
Wearing a boy scout uniform was hard. Witnessing to non-christians as a pre-teen was hard. Being a diver on the swim team was hard. Going to a college where I knew no one was hard. Entering bodybuilding competitions as a teenager was hard. Getting good grades was hard. Becoming an Air Force officer and pilot was hard. Arguing with every living person has always been hard.
These activities have also been fun, but that doesn’t mean they were less hard.
But I have recently spent an inordinate amount of time with people from a different culture and I have come to realize that life doesn’t have to be hard.
The trick to this type of life, so far as I can tell, is to not understand anything.
My goal—if this post has one—is to distinguish “ignorance is bliss” from what I’m talking about.
“Ignorance is bliss”, to me, has always been said by those who are not ignorant. It has always lived in the same semantic domain as “the thing I like about high school is, as I get older, the girls stay the same age”.
I’m not claiming to have rediscovered that concept.
I’m talking about hard vs. easy. Like the “work smarter, not harder” realm.
And I’m saying here I have been living a hard life and enjoying it because I thought that over time I am working smarter and smarter which means more and more work being done, but it turns out, I’m still living a hard life.
And I’m admitting that I just came to the realization that life doesn’t have to be hard.
Let me put it this way.
In the “work smarter not harder” proverb, there is implied that if you’re dumb, life is hard.
There’s another proverb I’ve heard, “being dumb doesn’t kill ya, it just makes you sweat.”
With me yet?
I think I’m saying that these aren’t true.
If you actually don’t understand life, then life is easy. Lillies of the field easy. Birds of the air easy. You know, easy.
Just be and in most cases food makes it to the table.
Just be and in most cases the Nike outlet will have a marked down pair of shoes in your size and on the very day that you went shopping there!
Just be and your kid can’t possibly turn out with low character because he is also only a receiver of life.
Maybe I’ve misunderstood the “just makes you sweat” part and it has always meant “working hard is dumb” to the wise.
Or maybe, just maybe, I have been working my tail off to provide a good life for my new family and the only actual reward is the knowledge that they prefer their old, easy life back.
And to think that for all these years I thought life had to be hard.