We measure our commitment by the amount of inconvenience we are willing to tolerate.
“Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything” is a particularly memorable quote amongst the steady stream that I come across. It struck as particularly apt for the phase of life that I am going through. On the one hand, I have developed an awareness, clarity, and resoluteness regarding what I would not tolerate to impede my daily and general wellbeing and happiness. It has given rise to a general attitude of live and let live, but no compromises, and no effort to maintain what is not working. While it allows me to not only enjoy my days, which I generally fill only with what I like to do, it also makes me wonder if it is drifting a little too much.
In other words, is drifting in to something with a smile, and withdrawing before the smile goes away without an effort to perhaps change or improve the situation – ever – a bit too extreme. There is a particular peace about the entire process of just observing, and deciding whether conditions are compatible – nothing quite gets under the skin because nothing needs to be permanent.
My thoughts and concerns are not a judgement of this attitude, even in its extreme. Rather, I am concerned about it because it contradicts a personal value that it is better that people have something to stand for. To stand for something requires that you need to exert effort; how much you would stand for it is measured relative to the amount of adversity you face. How much adversity is often measured by how much negative emotion you put up with, how much you change, how much conflict you have – basically how much you struggle.
If we were to work backwards, then, changing an environment every time anything is troublesome, upsetting, or requires effort – going with the flow rather than forcing a desired outcome – takes very little effort in my particular circumstances, and given my disposition. (To another person, going with the flow might take momentous effort.) If I am making very little effort, in order to satisfy what may be a momentary desire for tranquility, does it mean I have nothing to stand for, and nothing to aim for?