ARE OUR LIVES TOO CONVENIENT?

#convenience #inconvenience #tooconvenient
Is there such a thing as being “too convenient?
Eric Weiner refuses to buy an Apple Watch because it would make his life too easy.
Weiner, author of the forthcoming book, “The Georgraphy of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places From Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley,” discussed this in a column he wrote for the Los Angeles Times, published in the June 7, 2015, edition of the News Sentinel in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Though he is not advocating the return of the inconvenient Paleolithic Era, he writes that too often we fail to recognize the full cost of our convenient lives. He cites all the plastic K-cups clogging the ecosystem, as well as personal and social costs of convenience.
The cost to workers of convenience can be harsh. A company can find a machine, or mechanical process, to do the work once done by humans. When that happens, humans lose their jobs and, in today’s world, may not be able to replace them.
Think, too, of all those disposable diapers, which Weiner cites. Yes, diaper pails and laundering cloth diapers is very inconvenient, and can be smelly, too. But those disposables s don’t recycle, though there are experiments around the world attempting to recycle them. Usually, though, they just go into the environment and, hopefully, degrade eventually.
Weiner also cites the convenience of shopping at Amazon. Point, click, enjoy, he says. Online shopping has led to the closing of many stores and placed store clerks, managers, shelf stockers etc., out of work.
Weiner says we, as humans, crave boundaries, obstacles and inconvenience. Buddhism is not an easy religion, as anyone who has attempted to meditate for five minutes can attest, he writes.
Yet, it’s an immensely popular religion worldwide, he says.
If, as Weiner quotes the late philosopher Robert Nozick’s notion that, we could imagine a happiness machine, would we want to be hooked up to it? Though the instinctive answer might be yes, the actual answer is no, because we want to earn our happiness, he says.
That brings to mind the notion that we appreciate more the things that we earn, than those we are given. If a college student has to pay for his own education, the thought goes, he will work harder in school. If the student is given a full scholarship, he may not work as hard.
Obviously, that doesn’t apply to everyone. Those with real gratitude are thankful for any blessings they are given. They will work to ensure that those blessings are not wasted, and will pay it forward as opportunities arise.
If you are looking for such a blessing, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll see stories of others, perhaps like you, who have been blessed beyond their wildest imaginations, realized it and worked not only to help themselves, but also to help others take advantage of those blessings.
Yes, our lives are certainly more convenient than those of our parents, grandparents and other ancestors. If you believe your forebears were happily inconvenient, perhaps they were. But true happiness has to start from within, and not necessarily be influenced by the things around us.
So be happy, healthy and prosperous. Choose your conveniences wisely.
Peter

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