Comfort Is A Sad Goal
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Comfort Is A Sad Goal

And offense is a weak emotion

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Comfort Is A Sad Goal
Sarah Browning

I feel like (as valid or invalid as that is) our society/culture/people are becoming more and more preoccupied with the idea of comfort. We're not supposed to make other people uncomfortable. We don't want to do things that feel uncomfortable. We don't want to leave what is comfortable. We want more things to make our lives more comfortable. We don't want our kids to be sad or upset. We don't want to offend anybody.

Of course, sometimes that is right. It depends on how "comfortable" and "uncomfortable" are defined, and we must always be tasteful, genuine, and loving. But I think, in many of its various definitions, the idea of "comfortable" has seeped into the essence of culture, religion, and people; and it's incredibly harmful (I write as I sit here wrapped in a blanket because it's cold in my room and the cold made me uncomfortable). There is much more to aspire to in life than comfort.

Aspiring to make everybody comfortable and aspiring to have a comfortable life is the same as aspiring to have stagnant life. People cannot grow, society cannot evolve, nothing can improve if people only aspire to be comfortable. Being uncomfortable is what forces people to grow.

I appreciate when people are careful with their words, and I appreciate when people try not to offend other people, but we cannot sacrifice improvement and movement because we fear offending people. Offense is inevitable; discomfort is inevitable. We must at least try to move, with the knowledge that we will offend some people, even if we are avoiding it, because this is the only way we can improve.

Besides that, offense is a weak emotion. People get offended way too often and way too easily. Offense is selfish. Anger is a strong emotion, and people are often offended when they do not recognize they are angry, or when they refuse to invest enough to be angry. Fear is a strong emotion, but people would rather say they are offended than admit they are afraid. Shame is a strong emotion. Disappointment is a strong emotion. Admit to a strong emotion, be uncomfortable, but do not be offended.

We should never be justified in allowing ourselves to stay in our own comfortable rooms with our own comfortable views and our own selfish desires. Being uncomfortable is essential to a life well-lived, and I do not think it is coincidence that more and more people are unhappy with their lives as we more and more turn comfort into our lives' goal. Comfort is a sad goal.

Be willing to be uncomfortable sometimes. Be willing to live in tension. Live a good life and grow and grow and grow.

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