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The Challenge is Comfort

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Some of us welcome change. Some of us demand it, agitate for it, and help create it. Others of us resist change…

Some of us welcome change. Some of us demand it, agitate for it, and help create it. Others of us resist change; we complain, refuse to comply, and look back longingly at how things were. We switch up how (or whether) to embrace change based on what we care about, and what is being changed.

What do we do when it seems like everything is changing? Everything from how government is run to how we shop and consume to how we enjoy our entertainment and the lineup of shows on our cable and streaming services. How hard we resist any change can illustrate where we stand in a snapshot of how things are, especially if we look at our persistent and deepening culture wars.

If, for example, I find myself working my hardest to maintain the status quo, or to let things go back to the way they were, or lamenting “woke” culture, it’s because the status quo is most likely providing something of value to me. I have been able to carve out a life, become comfortable, and work within the existing structure. But just taking a moment to look at who I am, and why I was able to build my life, shows me how that’s simply not true for other people. Moments of empathy, and a willingness to look outside ourselves, can show us that the status quo doesn’t enable everyone to carve out a life within our current system and our current culture.

That’s why people agitate for change. While we are drawn to what’s familiar, we are compelled to behaviors that get us our desired results. A life free of aggravation and difficulty is what many of us strive toward, but not everyone can get that aggravation-free life when there is discrimination, demonization, bigotry, and other forms of oppression, both subtle and overt.

We who are living in comfort, but claim oppression, are probably not really experiencing oppression but rather a discomfort with the notion that the system doesn’t serve everyone. After all, if the system has served us, why should it change? But resistance to  discomfort, is at the heart of the virulent resistance to the social upheavals that have gained traction in the past 2 years. Those of us who are comfortable with the old ways lose nothing when more people can create a comfortable life. We have to somehow break through the notion that we are losing something by letting everyone have a chance to create the life they want, the same as we have.



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