“Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist — or a sexist or a homophobe — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating.” ~ G.D. of Postbourgie
You know what’s hard? Being good.
Doing the right thing and choosing the ‘right’ path is extremely hard. And it doesn’t get any easier with time (sorry to disappoint).
The only thing that changes with time is your reaction to the struggles in your life. Overtime, as you continue to pick the right, but difficult, choice it’ll become a habit. You’ll come to realize that the choice in which you struggle the most is most likely the best one. Sure, now and again you’ll pick the one with the least amount of struggling on your end – but you usually realize that you chose wrong (I know I have). Moving on from that in itself is a struggle. (Ask any ex-smoker, each slip up made it that much harder to quit, but they had to continue trying to quit.)
Unbeknownst to most is that we’re actually faced with tons of choices every day that require us to make a choice between the path of least resistance (struggle) and the path of most:
- It’s easy to be a racist.
- It’s a constant struggle to go against you’re negative upbringing and respect people of all races.
- It’s easy to be a homophobe.
- It’s a constant struggle to defy popular culture and support people and their individual lifestyles.
- It’s easy to go to college to get a degree.
- It’s a constant struggle to drop out, against your parents wishes, when you realize you’re just getting a degree (and not an education).
- It’s easy to be messy.
- It’s a constant struggle to be organized (for more than one day or week).
- It’s easy to get a 9-5, not think about your future, and party on the weekends.
- It’s a constant struggle to take matters into your own hands, swim against the stream (for a lot less pay), and work 14 hour (unappreciated) days on something you love.
- It’s easy to watch television.
- It’s a constant struggle to read (for more than just entertainment, but for betterment).
- It’s easy to push someone down.
- It’s a constant struggle to nurture and help them grow into their own person slowly overtime.
- It’s easy to be comfortable and use the good old trusted ways.
- It’s a constant struggle to constantly be uncomfortable in order to learn something new and grow.
- It’s easy to debate and continue fighting your point.
- It’s a constant struggle to shut your mouth and listen when you’re wrong (because for the majority of the time we all are).
- It’s easy to walk on the neatly laid out path before you.
- It’s a constant struggle to leave the path and make your own; to step where no path was before and build one.
- It’s easy to be the sheep in the slaughterhouse with so many friends around you.
- It’s a constant struggle to be the lone wolf; to choose the better path and walk it alone.
- It’s easy to consume all that is around you.
- It’s a constant struggle to create and add something good (something useful) to the world.
- It’s easy to hoard and maximize.
- It’s a constant struggle to give and minimize.
- It’s easy to shun and hate.
- It’s constant a struggle to understand and love.
- It’s easy to give up when times are hard (no one will blame you – it was hard afterall.).
- It’s a constant struggle to keep going (especially when the world’s against you every step of the way… for years!).
… What I’m talking about here is not in the work you’ll be doing once you make the choice. I’m talking about the difficulty of the choice itself. For example, going to college and getting good grades is pretty hard – but the choice of going to college is easy (especially compared to going out into the world instead).
If you’re currently facing a struggle (for you are if you’re doing good), ask yourself whether or not it’s a struggle you’re facing because you’re trying to better yourself and/or the world. If it is, keep going. I beg you – keep going! I know it’s going to be extremely difficult to take your own future into your own hands and do what you love; I know it’s going to take every ounce of your mental and physical strength to change the world; and I know it’s going to practically kill you constantly being good (thus, constantly struggling) – but I promise you it’ll naught be done in vain. As two people once said “If you’re going through hell, keep going,” and “It’s not going to be easy. But it’s going to be worth it.”
To rephrase G.D.’s words:
“Being different/special/better is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re different/special/better; not being normal (being better than normal) — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating.”
photo credit: SuperFantastic