Sure, the search engines will pester me about the title to this post. I know that they will because it is not ladled to their always open mouths to be poured in drip by drip. They want me to write for your expectations. They want me to create this blog based on what you have told them what you will read. Ah, hell no. Never fear though. Because if you have managed to find this post, it will be worth reading in spite of the self censoring web-crawlers. So, go ahead. You’ve earned it.
We humans have a heard time changing. We have spent most of our collective civilizations attempting to make things easier on ourselves. All in all, we have achieved truly amazing things over the centuries. And, I’m all for it. If not for the sweat equity of those before me I would not be able to brew the coffee I must have in the morning, fire up the laptop and in about half an hour climb into my car and drive to work.
Makes me wonder
But I wonder from time to time if things are too easy, for me at least. I think this thought and type the words fully realizing how “problematic” such a proposition can be. I am lucky enough to have a life which allows the time to think such things. Two things to say now: I’ve already paid my respects to those before me in the paragraph above. Second, it seems to me that in this day and age, it would be problematic to someone somewhere if I announced on my blog that it was time for me to clip my toenails. So, on we go.
I think what I am getting at is that in the search for ease and convenience we may be losing the ability to appreciate. We can buy anything from our phone on our buttocks and have it sent to us, still on our buttocks some time later. It literally makes me wonder if something is being lost…
(A moment or two or thoughtful contemplation is now taking place)
Time’s up! I don’t personally think “easier is better” creates a frame of mind that can sustain appreciation for said gain. It just ain’t how humans work.
Don’t let me ruin your day. Instead, I have a simple solution to apply. It will help one to appreciate the endeavor, purchase or activity to be undertaken. Here goes. The endeavor purchase or activity will be appreciated more deeply, if it costs you your attention, concentration, time and effort. One must ACTE in order to appreciate. The “e” is pronounced at the whim of the reader. I’m not forcing the issue.
ACTE before you act
I will illustrate, clarify and enhance ACTE by using my own life as an example. My youngest son is now off to a Big Ten university to undertake his college education. He is following in the footsteps of his three older siblings, who all worked hard to graduate from college. My contribution in helping them along the way required a hell of a lot of each letter.
A – Attention- reading to them, reading to them, reading to them.
C – Concentration- mostly in the form of listening, observing and engaging.
T – Time- Spending the time with them that I had, but more importantly spending time with them that I didn’t have.
E – Effort- Spending energy in ever changing forms with, on and for them.
In my example the reward and appreciation was a long time in coming. However, the brilliant utility inherent in ACTE can take any form. Use it at the grocery store, car wash or peep show. It will enhance or even create your appreciation of what you’ve bought experienced or created because anything too easy simply won’t, because it can’t. It’s the human condition, people.
Nothing worthwhile ever, ever, ever comes easy. If it does, or seems to, then you maintain the option not to ACTE before you act, while pronouncing the “e” or not.