Comfort – a physical, mental or spiritual state. Everyone tries to seek it on daily basis by one way or another. There are numerous attempts in various manner, the meaning and level of comfort too varies from person to person. After achieving one level, a person might strive for another and then another and might get caught in a never ending race too. It is also said that nothing grows in the comfort zone, just another interpretation of being comfortable but it highlights one of the basic needs and one the reasons for innovations. At the same time, there are theories to be content, be happy with what we have and when we have. Learn to be comfortable in present situation and be happy. This also seems true since both of these explanation have been experienced by everyone at some point or other. There is a constant struggle to either be content or strive for something better and more comfortable. Something which puts us in greater control of our life. We try to fix the thing or thought or situation which causes any discomfort. The discomfort in this article is about the thoughts, experience or situations which we come across in daily life which makes us feel uncomfortable.
A little discomfort is something we have learn to live within our daily life. It can be physical or mental. We might not be very happy with our job but we stick to it and learn that we either need to wait for better opportunity or be happy with what we have since not everyone is fortunate enough to have that job. There are many others out there who have a dream to live your present life. Again, a never ending cycle and the constant will to outperform and outgrow the present state. At times, we decide to be uncomfortable for a while to achieve something in long term. These I would call planned “discomfort” and is not a part of this post. These are planned and tolerated because of a logical decision and the desired outcome. This post is about the “discomfort” which we have learnt to deal with or live with. The reasons are multiple & justified in various forms and few of them are the exact reason of this post. This is about the discomfort we choose to live with rather than deal with or fix it.
Discomfort might have a simple solution, a bit complex one, a really difficult or something which is out of our control. Everyone have their own method and available resources of dealing with the situation or “neutralizing” it. I say “neutralizing” because not a solution doesn’t exist or rather, an immediate solution is lacking. So till the time it is achieved or within reach, few mid-way might be worked out to reduce or lessen the discomfort. For the last category i.e. something which is “out of our control” is also something similar, there may or may not be immediate but eventually there is a solution or a way to reduce or “neutralize” it till the time a “solution” can be achieved. The examples or experiences which I want to cover are again not physical or just few instances, but more of experiences and instances which we encounter daily. Example, poverty, riots, terrorism, any kind of abuse verbal, emotional, physical; politics, political situation, and also the fundamentals of “right & wrong” which are quite subjective. Also, these problems are being worked upon by someone or the other, you might know them and even be one of them or closely associated with someone working on them. If not, you will still have an idea that people are out there who are working for such “social cause” as known to us and described by society. If you are living under the rock or just happen for be in a place that you know anyone, then you would have come across this though television, websites, social media or print media or in verbal communication with someone else.
The problem of direct and indirect
The fact is, irrespective of the case and your “direct” involvement with these issues, you and I know that they exist and it bothers us. Maybe not at same level but it does. We try to do something about it, again in different individual capacities but whenever possible we do. It may be by means of getting involved directly and reaching out to those in need. By making donations, by teaching the uneducated or spending time with needy. By increasing awareness by means of scholarly articles, websites, blog posts or as simple as sharing a post on Facebook, Instagram or forwarding messages on whatsapp (excluding the random useless messages which involve forward/ share this with 10 people and something good will happen, only the logical and reasonable ones). Something triggers these actions, however small they might be. These actions might seem as unproductive or meagre but there is an “attempt” involved. There is a hope and believe. Against all odds, we hope to change the situation and bring about a change. We do all this because we are uncomfortable with such incidents and want to do something about it even if we don’t exactly know what to do and how to do. These actions, efforts and attempts again differs from person to person. In many cases these efforts increases and takes a much serious form with time by those who feel the need to bring about this positive change quickly. Those who once contributed by sharing posts, donating and helping but now decided to turn it into something more meaningful and might even make this their major choice in life and a lifestyle. Not everything happens overnight but everything has to start somewhere. It can be related to something like “butterfly effect”, not in all cases but just because something has to start somewhere and by someone. No one knows that it might catch interest of millions like-minded people & also joined by many other who couldn’t do much earlier.
For other, few simple examples, you might have not voted your present government, the vaccine and medicines were made by someone who chose not to diseases and related deaths, we have labour laws because someone exploited the working people and finally someone decided to do something about it, we have our representatives in international organizations because someone felt the need or was not comfortable with the potential monopolistic policies and international exploitation, countries got independence because people were not comfortable with being slave and ruled.
Take action, please!!!
This all is only possible if something is done about the “discomfort”. And something can be done only if its existence and realization is known and felt. Along with this there is a need for hope, however faint it may be but even the tiniest existence of that hope, that spark which is good enough to ignite fire once provided with the required fuel. Now, think of this “discomfort” as something we learn to live with or accept it. This can be because of ignorance, lack of awareness, giving up hope after multiple failed attempts, suppression, and peer pressure or because of lack of acceptance from society in general. The issues mentioned above are those which may not be effecting us directly but they do have impact indirectly. In ways not know to us or in way not understood by us. These are not new but then not something which cannot be solved, reduced or “neutralized”.
The problem is when we decide to “live with it”. A problem, a huge one for which I lack the appropriate term but I choose to simply term it as “a problem”. Trying to explain its significance and magnitude with this long post, each and every word as you continue and choose to read. “Living with it” either comfortably or uncomfortably slowly and gradually changes to being comfortable with it. We decide or happen to be comfortable just because it is not affecting us directly and has become very common and we start to “accept” it rather than doing something about it. The reasons might be one of the many as I mentioned above, the level of acceptance is reached once we stop writing, sharing and posting about it. This is the stage which is a stage of failure, a collective failure as humans and failure of the “smartest & superior” form of live on this planet (smartest, as we humans consider ourselves as compared to other animals and form of life).
The actual cost of stopping or delay
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable does not only stops the progress but instead reverts the development made. Not only this, it gives an open and never ending opportunity to those who were at the root of such issues and now free to exploit the situation. The exploitation continues because now people have accepted the unfortunate or uncomfortable reality. There is an unacceptable acceptance in society and everyone is live comfortably even if the situation was once uncomfortable. Something which boiled your blood, filled your head with questions and heart with anger or anguish. But all of that is now lost and being undone. The motive of the group who wanted to “exploit” succeeds and the “good” group loses by choosing to be comfortable.
These things are often missed or accepted because it takes long time to happen. The result is not immediate or very direct. But once the result starts bothering again, once it start affecting us in a direct manner, please understand that it’s late and much of damage has already been done. It has reached to a level you never wanted and imagined. This was something which was “indirect” but over the time now it has taken a turn and has become big enough to haunt you directly. Also, just because it was indirect, it never meant it cannot turn into something “direct”.
Few mixed examples worth considering
A simple change in policy by government on labor laws (because everyone in their life spends major part of their life working which is then governed by such laws) might not affect you directly unless it relates to your own field of working. Or just because you happened be out of that “working group” which was affected by laws. A change in how poverty is estimated & calculated (it used to be counted in terms of “calories” till very recent times just in case you are not aware). A change in environmental laws, a change in formula to calculate GDP, change in pension scheme or a change in retirement age. I am not asking to get involved in each and everything but atleast which you can understand or think about, and if something affects you directly then make it a priority.
A change in working of government or its accountability. This one is a huge issue and something which needs elaborating, just because you or I don’t have any question to ask government doesn’t mean no one else has. And just in case we don’t have right now again doesn’t mean we will never ask. But if such things are ignored just because they are not related to us directly at that point of time and this is made the basis or reason of “accepting” something then it’s not acceptance but “ignorance” and more of “foolishness”. If something is not known then ask, try to read about it, do a basic research, listen and get in touch with the associated groups both in favor and those against. Watch, talk, listen and analyze. Thereafter, do something. As small as a simple post or as serious as living up for the cause. The choice is yours but just don’t get comfortable with it.
Even if you happen to be standing and choosing the wrong side because of lack of information, you still grow and understand. You will not fall into a trap that easily for any such issue. Also once you know you are at wrong side you can make a shift and help undo the damage which was done, there are number of other option and steps which can be taken now. But is you just started to live without doing anything, then it’s an indirect support. This is applicable to all systems which follow a democratic process. Just choosing to not do anything is worse than being on wrong side. We do not have “Wrong” side in democracies, we have “opposition”. It’s “opposition” and not “opposite”. Opposition need not oppose everything but question, make those in greater power accountable. But if someone simply decides to sit and not do anything, then the whole pool of votes/ opinion/ facts reduces. The people are able to form majority because the total number required for that majority is very less.
Votes are counted from a pool which is itself not 100% but it does affect the actual 100%. Even if only 1000 people out of a million cast a vote, those 1000 are the deciding force. And 501 people are good enough to decide the fate of a million people who will have no other choice than to obey the new rules unless they now decide to speak up and demand a change. If they still choose to be comfortable then it is an open invitation for those in power to do whatever they want.
Maybe a conclusion and an end for this post.
“Maybe” conclusion and end because there is a lot which needs to be changed, questioned and people to be held accountable. If you find yourself confused, then read and explore the information from various multiple sources. Not everything requires so much efforts, many of the big issues of today are evidently wrong. There is no reading required if someone is being abused in front of you, if someone is being sent to jail who happened to steal bread because he or she couldn’t earn their living for that day, if a child is being not allowed to play and get education with others, if a person is sleeping with empty stomach. You just have to ask, be open, willing and daring to ask, someone out there will do the hard work for you of reading the facts, framing the policies, making people accountable and bring about the change. These are the reasons there are “representatives” in schools, society, government, political parties, in United Nations, World Banks and just everywhere. You need not deal with everything on your own but by speaking up, you provide support & unsaid strength to those who can bring about the positive change. And just in case you find out no one exist, then why not give it a try yourself and start with it. Other will soon join and follow. If you happen to read the article till here, then you are already aware about the numerous movements which were started by a single person with cause, thought or vision and they were eventually joined by many others and left a mark on world. A mark for betterment, inspiration & motivation of millions of others. Just try to remember and recall the very reason of starting, there was something that made you uncomfortable about something and you just choose to do something about it.
Never be comfortable with being uncomfortable