Open Bar: Degrees of Difficulty

As the first slivers of dawn creep up the mountainside, the shrill shrieks of alarms pierce through bedrooms across the Valley.  The weight of blankets and expectations press heavily upon shoulders sore from carrying burdens physical and psychological.  Those who believe in the snooze button revel in the momentary respite, delaying the inevitable.  Eventually, all inhale deeply and, with great exertion, throw off the covers and stand to face the onslaught of the day.  Ahead lay challenges already on the agenda and those unknown crises that spring fully formed when we are most vulnerable.  Armored, alive, anxious, we step out of the door and do our best to make it back home unscathed.

The daily struggle is difficult enough.  It is as true now in our moment of digital blitzkrieg as it was in the pastoral days of subsistence farming.  To this baseline, we, in our infinite human wisdom, elect to add layers of self-created complexity.  Perhaps, bolstered by the trickster energy of the nighttime, we chose to imbibe in that extra cocktail or three and awake the next day having to give double the effort for half of the result.  Or we shackle ourselves with the infinite gravity of self-doubt and can merely shuffle through the world when we would prefer to run free.  Believing hyper-motivation to be a blessing, we may take on more tasks than can reasonably fit into a day and then burn out our motors when the reality of our limitations is revealed.

But is our unending penchant for conflict that most unnecessarily ramps up the degree of difficulty.  The Realpolitik-niks claim that this is simply the human condition, that accepting the inevitability of strife is the secret to navigating the minefield of life.  But these are warmongers, profiteers from the military industrial complex, psychopaths who see humanity as a population to be conquered and not caressed.  We need not be pawns in this game, need not be brainwashed into believing that refusing to fight is a flaw.  Falling for this charade is to assume a burden that will further usurp the free will that we have abdicated to governments and corporations.  Each human has their own agency, knows intuitively that peace is the path.

Still, the vestiges of our animal nature cannot be ignored.  Evolved as we are, there remains a latent insecurity in our hearts, one that makes us lash out when we believe we are being attacked, physically, but also psychologically.  Participating in this paradigm, we create an overlay of disputes petty and/or massive that becomes the roadmap for each waking day.  It is such an incredible waste of our energies and talents and yet we engage in these aggressions to our collective detriment.  It is almost as if we enjoy the suffering, the hardship, the melees.

Friction is a constant restraint on our forward motion, a conscious choice that we refuse to avoid.  It manifests from arguments with our significant others, squabbles with our children, squawks with our neighbors, invectives with our business partners, in soliloquies with the drivers in the parking lot that cannot even hear us.  The palpable absurdity of our conscious decision to be constantly triggered by the unimportant makes for great theater, but for a staggering dearth of happiness, of contentment, of enjoyment of the blessings that daily surround us.

As we move forward into the unknown of 2022, instead of immediately assuming a defensive posture as our eyes greet the morning sun, we should spray ourselves with proverbial Teflon, allowing the slings and arrows of our supposed enemies to fall impotently to the ground so that we may glide into the joys that await us.  With these roadblocks avoided, we will be commensurately less likely to make self-destructive decisions, an upward spiral of progression that portends, if not happiness, then at least a bit of ease in a troubled world.