The Easy Way

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Beware of the easy way.

Most of my life I have taken the easy way. I convinced myself that the path of least resistance is always better. I attempted to justify my inaction to myself with excuses and feel-good sayings but in actuality I was letting my fears take over my life. This is no way to live.  Where has this gotten me?  Nowhere. Fate let me drift along. At times I would be lucky and float into good fortune.  I believed that just being good in my heart was enough. I meant well but I never stood for anything. I let others take the wheel. I lied to myself and have learned the hard way that the easy way is not always the best way. In many cases the easy way will lead you downstream into a false sense of reality and sooner or later you are left high and dry.

I have learned that what is truly worthwhile is rarely easy and that anything worth anything takes hard work and perseverance. Most success stories are about people who never gave up; people who had fallen time and time again but always got back up.  It hurts to fall and sometimes it hurts even more to struggle to one’s feet.  History is full of stories of inspirational people who succeed beyond all odds and it was perseverance and plain old-fashioned hard work more than anything that was the cause of their success.

Many never try because they are afraid of failure. This is the easy way. Thomas Edison didn’t take the easy route.  Once called “addled” by his teacher, Edison only had three months of formal education. This self-taught man called “The Wizard of Menlo Park” went on to hold 1,093 US patents in his name; Including a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.  His most famous invention; the first commercially practical incandescent light took 10,000 tries to perfect.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

This river we call life is tough and it is not fair.  As someone with Asperger’s I have struggled with this one; the supreme unfairness of life. Nelson Mandela the anti-apartheid revolutionary who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 could teach us about the unfairness of life.  He certainly did not take the easy way. As a lawyer and leader he fought his own government’s policy of apartheid and because of that in 1962 he was arrested, convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.   This great leader served 27 years in prison and was finally released in 1990 after an international campaign lobbied on his behalf.

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires." ~Nelson Mandela

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
~Nelson Mandela

Speaking up for the truth is seldom the easy way and the Reverend Martin Niemoller certainly did not take the easy way.  This one-time Nazi turned his back on the Fascist Movement in 1933 and organized the Pastor’s Emergency League to protect Lutheran pastors from the police. In 1934, he was one of the leading organizers at the Barmen Synod, which produced the theological basis for the Confessing Church, which despite its persecution became an enduring symbol of German resistance to Hitler. In 1937 he was arrested for treason and spent the rest of of WW II in concentration camps, narrowly escaping execution. After the war, Niemoller emerged from prison to preach pacifism and reconciliation. He won acclaim and awards and died in 1984 at the ripe old age of 92. He was probably best known for the following:

Pastor Martin Niemöller posthum in den USA geehrt

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I did not speak out;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller 1946

Inspiring words that still inspire today. It takes courage to swim upstream; to go one’s own way. It takes strength of will and determination to stand up for what you believe. This may entail rising up against the tide of popular opinion. This could be a lonely task; standing up for your convictions but soon enough others will join you. It just takes one to start. I recall the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it only took one small child to stand up and speak the truth.  There are many truths and everyone has their own. Sing you song loud and proud, and don’t be surprised if a whole chorus of voices join in.

easy we shall OVERCOME

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Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

Credit: Public Domain

Credit: Public Domain

 

 

“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.”
― Terry Goodkind

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**INSPIRING WORDS (Please listen)**

The Greatest Speech Ever Made (YouTube)

We Shall Overcome by Martin Luther King Jr  (YouTube)

Harvey Milk speech-HOPE (YouTube) 

**Related Articles** 

Nelson Mandela’s Release From Prison (YouTube)

The One Thing Successful People Don’t Do (And 9 Famous Examples) (forbes.com)

The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost (poetryfoundation.org)

How do I make a difference (nortonsofholland.wordpress.com)

Untrodden Path (tauqueersvaani.wordpress.com)

**REFERENCES**

Thomas Edison (wikipedia.org)

Nelson Mandela (wikipedia.org)

Martin Niemoller (hoboes.com)

Inspiring Stories–Never Give Up (Brucemuzik.com) 

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29 thoughts on “The Easy Way

  1. Pingback: The Dedicated One | The Girl With The Scorpion Tattoo

  2. I am the EXACT OPPOSITE! The quote that would best describe me is…”Some hit the wall and some SMASH THROUGH IT” LOL I think I should have been a little less SMASH earlier on in my life but… I am what I am!
    At least you know your self and were brave enough to say… I’m going the easy way, but to realize you have had enough of it shows REAL wisdom and great knowledge of self.
    I suffer from fear of failure but I think we as a society need to see failure as part of the process.
    Wonderful post very thoughtful!

  3. I love the honest call for perseverance in this post Nancy. Nelson Mandela is a hero of mine – have you read his “Long Walk to Freedom”? If only there were more people in the world who spoke up for what they believe in and don’t just go with the flow… Very much a current issue in my head at the moment, with local elections next weekend and national elections the week after… Thanks Nancy!

  4. Yeah very well written – the easy way isn’t always (if anytime) – probably we never end up where we want – and some one once said “Easy come, easy go” – but sometimes there can be some pleasure going the hard way – we live forwards and understand it backwards… :-) :-)

    • Hey Drake, I like what you say; “we live forwards and understand it backwards”–wow, isn’t that the truth. Well I guess it is better than living backwards and never understanding at all. ;)

    • Thanks so much Amy. I agree about Martin Niemöller’s quote, I didn’t know who said it until I wrote this, but his words have always resonated with me since I saw them in print many years ago in a Dear Abby or Ann Landers column.

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