Lost in the marketing maelstrom of our culture is an eternal truth: that life is hard and requires us to try hard.
It doesn't matter how many songs we have on our iPod, how many friends we have on Facebook, or how many dollars we have in the bank — without an understanding of our personal commitment to making things work out it all eventually falls apart. Others can help keep things running for a while, but life requires our own determination and action.
This is not just about a person's career — trying hard is about all aspects of our lives, from jobs to helping others, from relationships to keeping our world safe and healthy.
With so few of us plowing fields or milking cows anymore, the illusion that life is easier now is easy to accept. We have medical facilities, cheap food and lots of fun ways to spend time. Surely that means we can take it easy — just try a bit, sometimes, when we feel like it, or when something is urgent.
This illusion is believed by many people, most of whom never had to milk a cow before dawn, every day, like it or not. In just two generations we have moved from experiencing the hard work of farming to treating food as just another thing we get to enjoy.
In the days of farming, people grew up understanding the direct connection between commitment, action and survival — not just for themselves, but for their family and community.
In an age where there are screens of every size pouring out entertainment, it can be easy to forget the immense web of work that is being done by others, partly on our behalf. We all benefit from the efforts of others, from the time we are babies through adulthood. Everything we have is, in one way or another, related to the efforts of someone else — someone working — someone trying — someone participating — someone sharing.
Both humanity's advancements and daily life are built on our shared efforts, mutual respect, and compassion — and that includes yours.
Most people are, indeed, working hard, and they understand and experience life's struggles every day. Whether through their upbringing, life lessons or circumstances, they know they have to keep at it — and there's no question that life is hard and takes hard work.
A difficult moment in our lives is when we learn that trying doesn't guarantee success. Sometimes people try something once and fail, never to try it again. Sometimes people are working on things they aren't suited to, hit roadblocks, or have to deal with difficult people.
There's are lots of reasons why things don't work out the way we imagined, but two things are sure:
– Minimal efforts are almost always unsuccessful.
– For life to become better we need to accept that life is hard and takes hard work.
The good news is when we try hard, we find more often that things work out — often because others see us trying hard and pitch in.
Making things better is something we need to do on our own, and together.
We can't do it all on our own, but each of us must do our part.
Let's try hard!