Resistance Is Not Futile
By Tony Candela
This is my favorite post by Tony thus far.
Please be sure to check out his Amazon Author page found after this post.
Great job Tony.
I know I am a bit pushy, but it’s only cause I believe in you!
It has been a rough week, not only for me personally, but the world. As I write in late August, I hope that a counter-offensive mounted by the Ukraine to drive Russian troops out of the southern part of the country will succeed. This is just north of the Crimean peninsula. The offensive should make the Russians fear they might next lose the peninsula itself, something they annexed in 2014-15.
As for me, recently I have been thinking of my own form of resistance. While there are many commentaries out there about working hard and gaining rewards, there are very few of the Falstaffian variety (“discretion is the better part of valor”). So, if one tries and tries and is unsuccessful, one is expected (in our society anyway) to get the minimum amount of help needed and then soldier on. That is why Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the sport, after trying and trying and expressing a desire to retire, cannot make herself say the word. Instead, because she knows it will be absorbed better by herself and all of us, Serena uses the word “evolve” to describe her next life-steps.
Lately, I’ve been in a debate with someone about when to stop trying to accomplish certain tasks and hire someone to do them for me. This, I am sure, is a consummation devoutly to be wished, but unaffordable by most. The unequivocal feedback I have received is to keep trying. The topic at hand, for those who are interested, is the amount of effort to keep pouring into increasing my book sales three years after publication. We shall see where this goes, but in the meantime, even if I don’t want to do much more legwork, I probably will. The pandemic destroyed the publicity effort that should have begun just as COVID19 hit us. We shall see if certain poorly timed events can be overcome.
I’ve been in a similar geo-political argument lately with a close friend who grew up in Europe. I contend that most Europeans have stopped resisting and have settled into a more conservative mode when it comes to the expenditure of human energy. Am I saying they are lazy? Not quite, but I do argue that they seem to want to get things wrapped up more quickly than those with more energy to spare. While we in the U.S. give lip-service to phrases like “let’s wait until all the evidence is in” or “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” or “innocent until proven guilty”, many from the “old countries” would rather jump to more rapid conclusions. It is easier that way.
Generalizations aside, I am worried these days that our own society has drifted into the “old country” mode. Have we crossed a threshold of some kind that has us sliding down the exhaustion slope? Do we have a strong faction driving our car over the cliff into a more arbitrary and authoritarian society? Much as the Russians have demonstrated, most recently since the fall of the Soviet Union and rise of the Russian Federation, while capitalism might hold promise for a higher standard of living, it may require less personal energy to live in a society with many restrictions. Look at what is happening to the people of Hong Kong as China slowly wears down the will of the people. As motivation toward high-achievement is squelched, happiness is also curtailed. But in one sense, this makes it easier to go about your daily life. It takes you off the hook, a hook that we in America still hang from.
I don’t know what to hope for, but I still think we should resist the temptation to slide into an easier life. Resistance is not futile and as much as I would like to relax and get others to do things for me or simply give up on certain aspirations like increased book sales, that seed, deeply planted inside, still gnaws at me. So, as I continue to pull away from the brink of laziness, redoubling my efforts and working smarter and probably harder, let’s hope our society does the same.
Anthony R. Candela, Author
Saying aloud what should not remain silent.
Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy
A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports
Vision Dreams: A Parable
A sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.
Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar.
Learn more about Tony and buy his books at: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08MT8WQ42
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