Worzels World - In search of the easier way
It was a tough five setter and we’d been on the court for over an hour. Evenly matched in skill and stamina it was clear the winner would be he who could maintain a clear mind unbowed by pressure and dredge, from willpower alone, that little bit extra that it takes to triumph. At games end we shook hands with the mutual respect that exists between those who push each other to their limits.
Sitting gasping and blowing outside, cooling off in a gentle breeze, too tired to talk, I was not so fatigued that I could not contemplate the madness of it all. I figured if I worked as hard at work as I did when playing squash I’d get a hell of a lot more done. Yet people pay me to work and I have to pay to play squash? If anyone should require proof that I am a fool, the above confession should be sufficient.
I have been hearing as a justification for all manner of things lately that ‘it’s easier this way’. It seems that this is accepted as a reasonable explanation or justification for a given course of action. It is not. I expect if Michelangelo had chosen the easier way – instead of spending nine years on his back up a scaffold – he could have just given the Sistine Chapel a quick coat of Spanish white. It would have been a lot easier for Ed Hillary to have stayed on flat land, for Usain Bolt to walk and for Steve Irwin to have swum with goldfish. The only problem is that nothing worthwhile would have been achieved. It is a cop out. There is no honour in it.
Those that seek the easier way seldom find it. The profligate, the lazy, the greedy and the stupid seek the easier way. They usually end up making life harder for themselves and inevitably, for others too.
Is the quest for an easier way responsible for many of the ills in the world? It seems that the easy lie is preferred by many, especially politicians, over confronting a more difficult truth. Many appliances and much technology is marketed on the basis of making life easier but it is surprising how hard people have to work to afford these labour saving devices.
It is easier not to think, it is easier not to act, it is easier to lay down than it is to stand up and fight. The easier way is seldom the right way and almost never the best way. The easier way does not put us to the test and does not give us the opportunity to rise to a challenge. There is no satisfaction in the easier way.
For better or worse life is not easy, it wasn’t and isn’t meant to be. It’s of little use if it is. They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, and it may be that there is no such thing as the easier way. So forget about easier ways. Life gives no guarantees. If it doesn’t cost something it isn’t worth anything. The harder the work the better the food and rest, the harder the fight for freedom the sweeter the taste of liberty.
Too often we kid ourselves saying, ‘things will get better’ when, reason, observation and experience tell us we are witnessing a steady deterioration of our social, economic and democratic structures. It is the easier way to do nothing and believe that ‘they’, the politicians, the scientists, the technologists, will fix things. They cannot and will not. Even if they could fix the planet, who will fix mankind?
It is only when we accept that unless we stop taking the ‘easier way’, and things can and will deteriorate, that we can begin to make things better. As individuals, as a country, as a civilisation we are poised at a time in history where the challenges are many and daunting. Now more than ever before we need to front up, reject the easier way, rise to the occasion and do the hard yards. But then, I suppose it would be a lot easier to simply ignore it all and hope it all goes away.
The easier way is seldom the right way and almost never the best way. The easier way does not put us to the test and does not give us the opportunity to rise to a challenge. There is no satisfaction in the easier way.