- Mental Health
Walk a Mile With a Stone in Your Shoe
Life is Frightening When Stuck in Our Comfort Zone
Convenience and Comfort are Weakening and Killing Us
I’m sure you’ve gotten a stone struck between your toes or in the crease between your toes and the ball of your foot. It’s irritating, and like I used to do, you probably took it out of there as quickly as you could. Mistake! Why not keep it in there for a minute or two, because discomfort and inconvenience are our friends. In a country where convenience and comfort are king and queen, people are getting softer, less and less flexible, and very definitely unable to think for themselves, we need something that’s going to build us a backbone again. Big steps, like turning off the TV for a day, so that we experience some quiet and solitude, are out of the question for most, so a few small steps with a tiny stone in our shoe will begin to bring back the steely strength of will and determination that characterized our nation.
Are We Are Becoming A Nation of Wimps?
We wonder why our educational system is failing miserably, but it’s really no secret. Most children are very spoiled and just don’t want to work. In her book, A Nation of Wimps, Hara Marano makes the case for the high price of invasive parenting, in which parents are going to ludicrous lengths to take the bumps out of life for their children. Our children have little discipline and even less tolerance for discomfort or inconvenience, because they don't have to struggle. I wouldn’t want to be a teacher today unless I was a natural clown and topnotch entertainer, because kids are so addicted to video games and other electronics that it’s a major discomfort to have to leave home without them. When they do pull their ears out of their headphones and their eyes away from the screen, all of life is boring. They need more and more stimulation to maintain the same level of engagement. That’s a definition of an addiction, whether to cocaine or video games, TV, Facebook, or any of the electronics that they can’t do without. One of my neighbors told me that she recently took her sixteen-year-old granddaughter to lunch and realized that she was texting with her phone on her lap as she appeared to be listening to her grandmother. Many people had a fit when their Blackberries were offline for a few hours, and Facebook faced a revolt when it was down for a while. Comfort and convenience are killing us.
We’ve Lost Our Minds
The truth is that many of us have lost our minds to the media circus and all of it’s many outlets that suck our brains out through their hardware. If that sounds rough, know that it’s not rough enough, because we’re giving up our souls along with our minds. Just look at the those many who just can’t handle the inconvenience and discomfort of the recession even though they witness millions of people around the world, and in our own country, losing everything, including their lives, in floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides, terrorist attacks, and tsunamis. They really have no idea what real discomfort and inconvenience are and no patience with the small amount, and for most that’s all it really is, they may have to deal with. There are some, however, who have found inner strength, rallied and remade themselves by discovering an unknown skill or developed a new one, found a new kind of work or created a new business, but these are few and far between. As for the rest of us, we need to walk a mile with a stone in our shoe, or put the toilet paper on the roll the opposite way for a change. You’re laughing? Just try it and see how long you can handle it.
Deliberately allowing some
discomfort and inconvenience into our lives everyday can and will help
us to become much more confident in our ability to handle just about
difficulty that comes along. Because of brain plasticity, they gradually change the neuron pathways in the brain from weak and whinny to strong and stable. Try it for a week and see what happens. Or, can't you get out of your comfort zone even that much? Remember, if we don't expand our comfort zones, they gradually shrink until they become the size of the bed in which we take our last breath.