Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's a Hard-Knock Life

An acquaintance recently commented, "Well, his life hasn't been as hard as mine."

"How presumptuous!" says Virginia.

This set me thinking as I hauled two pickup loads of heavy maple to the woodshed, "windfall" from the derrecho. What makes one life "harder" than another?

Think of the alcoholics who struggle with their life-long illness. I'd bet that's hard, whether managing to "recover" by avoiding drink, or giving into the temptation that may be easy but hard on both the alcoholic and those who choose to live nearby.

Someone who suffers from depression may have a hard life, so does anyone with a catastrophic illness or injury, I would guess. I don't really know. I suppose I could ask.

A person's own trials do not make another's life "easy." If someone chooses to make life "hard," that doesn't make it any less hard. Instead of hauling firewood, I could have sat in a recliner with a mint julep, milkshake or soda. Someone I know could have chosen not to ride the donkey that threw her.

Others could have continued working jobs they disliked. That would be hard. The fact that they chose to move on to a different life doesn't mean they took the easy way out.

Some people might think it's hard to run more than 40 miles per week, create a full-time business, maintain a large garden, teach part-time in a university, and practice an instrument enough to perform now and then. Others might say that's easy; he or she should have chosen one of these things, done it very well, and worked harder to make this world a better place.

"Hard" is in the eye of the beholder, I suspect, which makes it totally irrelevant to anyone else and perhaps meaningless even to the one living the life. My life is hard, my life is easy. That's for me to decide, if I even want to consider the question. Whether my life is hard or easy, I'll take my pick or maybe not....

and keep it to myself. As for yours, it's up to you.

"Easy for you to say," says Virginia. "Make mine hard or no one will care."

She's probably right.

1 comment:

  1. Funny how our thoughts are on similar topic sometimes. I often hear, "my life is easy compared to ________." Is that so? I guess it makes a person feel better to say that.

    How about, an easy life with difficult moments (sometimes many)?