Life is Hard

Life is Hard

I’ll prove it to you. I mean, logically, rhetorically; I don’t aspire to be the agent of any more pain or difficulty for you. If I have been in the past, maybe move on, this one won’t be better for that, probably.

It’s just this, that some of the things that are our options in life are very hard things indeed. Still, options they are and they do get their share of hits, which is the proof I’m offering. If some of these things are possibly as good or better than our circumstances when the choice is required, then our situation is hard all around, and it means that quality of life before these hard choices – life at home for kids and teens, life without prospects for adults, etc. –  wasn’t so different.

On a personal level, I was shocked when I saw some kids in my extended family running away from home and prostituting, and it was a part of the puzzle of my cause when I realized that homelessness and sexual slavery seemed to be a viable option to these kids over staying at home fighting with their parents and staying in school. Sure, teenagers are too stupid to be afraid, but the numbers are there. That isn’t our countries’ smallest industry by any means. List all the reasons you like, street life and prostitution is a real option in the minds of millions of North American teens. If they’re all just that stupid, then sure, teenagers are dumb –

–        But of course it’s not all of them, is it? Of course it happens to smart kids and wealthy kids too. I’m not saying all these teens are making an informed choice. I’m just saying that the hand of the free market has judged that in some percentage of teens, an attitude of ‘anything is better than this’ prevails. Teens are voting with their feet. They may be stupid and wrong, but we raised these idiots.

Oops. Preaching aside, the point is, when that is an option, life must be hard.

Other examples come to mind:

  • Battle, war, nuclear war. It’s a hard life that makes war such a regular option and where nuclear war can be seriously considered and planned for. Plus, like Churchill said, I’ll paraphrase, ‘of course there are worse things than war. Dishonour is worse than war. Slavery is worse than war.’ It’s a real option, which means peace is not, apparently, because if it were it would be no contest. Life is tough when peace is not even an option. On an individual level, soldiering is a hard, dangerous choice, and for many, it’s their last option among others that include homelessness, crime and or incarceration. For some, I imagine it’s the same as the teen choice above, it’s a way out of the nuclear home.
  • Suicide. Again, say what you want about their reasons and choices, the numbers are there. It becomes an option for far too many when their lives become intolerable, and it has a nasty way of working to become their only option. Of course, this was an easy one, every suicide has the aspect of an indictment. But still, when that is among your best options, and again, far too many . . .
  • Cheating. Lying. Stealing. Along with divorce, along with death by addictions, situations no-one wants from their youth. When you can live with a bad reputation, when being mistrusted is as good as it gets, that signifies a depressing choice at some point, the lesser of two particularly smelly evils.

I guess I’ve said it. Really, for me, of course it’s about the runaway teens, about kids, and you probably know I see it as a fractal thing, that if big life, the life of nations sucks so hard that mutually assured destruction is an actual option, then that possibility derives from individual lives sucking so hard that military service is an option. When kids run away, to the streets or the army, they’re voting with their feet, against their parents and caregivers and maybe their judgment comes from their pre-verbal times, as it seems to in teens, but still.

So I’m just trying to give that a voice, just saying, this is what ‘Life is Hard’ means to me. I don’t think it’s a rule, that life is hard, but it certainly is the present state of affairs.

Jeff

August 21, 2015

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