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Posts tagged ‘success’

The Failure of Success?

I couldn’t sleep this morning, one of those racing thought kind of mornings. As I tried to reign in my errant cogitations, they kept escaping in new directions. One of those was of a more philosophical bent. We had been discussing obesity the night before in the Dojo. One of the girls was complaining that her coworkers would pile their plates with food, without regard if there was enough for everyone, and the guilty parties were already quite large. That led me to think this morning about the “obesity epidemic”. I was thinking we have a deep inborn drive for many things, not just food. In general, humans are driven creatures. What ever goal we set, we put all of our energy into it. That is a good thing if the thing we want is hard to get, needing all that energy. However, we have created for ourselves a situation where it is easy to get most things in life, and we are being constantly teased with more. With food, it is cheap and easy, we don’t have to catch it, dress it, cook it, or even clean up after it. Hence our current problem.

We want to make life easier for ourselves, but that ease leads to bad things, not good in many cases. We wanted shorter working hours, easier home maintenance, and less work in general. Now we can’t even walk to the store, or lift a 25 lb bag of cat food.  Humans seem to need life to be hard in order to not go off the deep end. Too much leisure and all we do is eat and watch tv.

Look at energy. We were driven to get more, better, cheaper forms of energy. We succeeded. If you disagree, compare your lifestyle to an American colonist, you don’t think we have it much, much better? Anyway, now all we can do is whine about the consequences of having all that energy, pollution and “global climate change”.  I don’t hear anyone volunteering to go back to a preindustrial lifestyle.

I’m going to get more radical and say our success in the medical field may also not be without its unintended consequences. Our goal is to defeat disease, and possibly even death. I would argue that is a very bad thing. Talk about over population! Would we simply stop having babies? That’s a horrible thought. Plus, it would never happen, procreation is one of those strong drives in us.

So I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive, I’m a Christian, not a Buddhist. I’m saying that on a macro level, striving is often as good or better than succeeding, the same as it is in individual lives.  So if you feel like a failure, hooray! You won’t be a victim of your own success today. And, no, there was no real point to this article. I’m just saying, that’s all.

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