Turning 8 years old in 2001 I remember clearly when I was given the ability to cut our front yard for the first time with a push mower…oh wow, the power of our 1 horsepower standard mower may have well been a corvette on that sunny day. As with most things we do for the first time, excitement fades and turns to a dull monotonous angst when we realize there’s legitimate work involved…from mowing to driving a vehicle for your 10th errand of the day, the things which once lit up our world for the first time can be less dramatically enticing after a while, but it doesn’t mean it is not necessary still.
We (much of the western world) have become far too accustomed to the presence of others work ethic taking care of the things which matter most to us personally. When we are forced to examine the things which matter most to us, and then again those things which matter most to us which require the most effort, time, and sacrifice, why do we always utilize such an abundance of energy to explore easier options of attrition to our aspirations rather than just facing the necessary battle with them which we so often avoid? Why do we seek others’ effort, time, and energy to replace for us the matters which carry the most weight in our OWN hearts, and by doing so, are those individuals we task with the objective ever able to replicate your level of care in doing-so?
Similarly, when we aren’t expending energy to find loopholes around the paths less chosen, we then do comparable things when it comes to the work needing to be done outside of our homes and individual lives. If we cannot face the difficult battles with[in] ourselves and our deepest aspirations, we certainly cannot do so in our communities either. In this cyclic avoidance of responsibility for yourself, it really just becomes the ignorance of the voids which need filled in our communities, nation, and world… where we leave the real difficult tasks to be completed for us & on behalf of us.
What then, is left for any individual at that point? are we to all accept the inevitable filling of a void where we demand someone else’s compassion, time, and effort? what happens when the entirety of man succumbs to the notion of allowing another to fill the void, to do the difficult work, to proverbially “wash the feet” of our neighbors? what work is left to be done at the point when everyone agrees there’s no work to be done by any one individual at all? What is left when moral high ground and its ethical capture remain untouched, and everyone crowds around it, waiting in angst for someone else to make the first move on the mound of suffering available for alleviation?
You can’t change the world, but you can change the world around you, and the world around you most infinitely begins with yourself, as difficult as it may be to read. Through the process of voluntary suffering, humans are capable of transforming the very core and essence of their being, and thusly better recognizing the significance in the polarity of service to others; but it is only when that difficult choice is made deliberately. Similarly, the action required to be physically present in your community, hell, even your family, is a choice of action, and deliberate in nature. If, as the first law of thermodynamics states, that “energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transferred” — then who are we to use no more and no less energy available to us at any given time to remain stagnant and average rather than the same amount of energy available to us at any given time to do the perceived difficult work and take action. Self-discipline and the perceived difficulty surrounding it, is as much an illusion as is our lust for those who accomplish incredible things in this short lifetime; they used no more and no less energy than any other being in existence, and any amount of energy available at any given time, they just simply made the very deliberate choice to actually utilize it.
Changing the world around you begins with a deliberate choice to change yourself, then a deliberate choice to work from that point outward, all while knowing it was never meant to be easy and that those things which come easy are less intrinsic in value, that’s why you get a weird feeling of self-pride when you complete difficult tasks. The real problems of the world cannot be solved by a donation, they’re solved by people who take that donation and turn it into action, and philanthropy, and charitable work, and all the things that we cannot bear to look at directly in our hectic lives because as long as we fail to live authentically and with passion as individuals, we will never find time to work passionately or with authenticity in our communities.
If energy can be neither created, nor destroyed, then all the necessary energy of every great achiever to have ever existed is with you and I at ALL TIMES. An incredible concept that falls on deaf ears to the magic of the world around us, accessible always. You were made to survive the entire ecosystem, your ancestors did in often horrendous conditions against tremendous odds, so it is most certainly in your reach to pick these tasks up and break them open, dissect them, and conquer them…. but only after you do so with yourself. Go into yourself and then into the world and do the difficult work necessary to inspire another to do the same, that cyclic opportunity pays far more dividends than the one of avoidance of responsibility.