“Too Easy”

Muskaan Jadeja

Rant time. And it’s been a while so strap down your seat belts or whatever.
The idea of the kids having it “too easy” bothers me. And it probably bothers you as well, considering we are the kids having it too easy.
But I think it runs deeper, because they are two types of ideas:
I suffered; why shouldn’t they?
I suffered, so I will do what I can for you to be spared.
And less drastically, today’s invention is supposed to be tomorrow’s innovation. I will suffer storms today for my children to see picturesque blue seas, I deal with internet explorer for my kids to have Google, you know, all that.
By quoting John Adams, “I must study politics and war,” so that the next generation has the “liberty to study mathematics and philosophy […] to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”
And that’s the point of progress. To make sure the ones after us have it easier.That’s what America stood for for a long time, and the reason immigrants flocked to the new nation. The promise for a better world.
This goes for everything. The pain and blood the crusades brought along centuries ago ensured that wars in the name of faith are made of greed not piety, and religion could be a choice (though this took a few more centuries). So we built nations made of unity and progress for our children.
The innumerable trails of tears, blood strewn plantations, forced famines, collapsed temples, beheaded religious idols and genocides tell us of the dangers of ambition and the terrifying ease of labeling ones that are different as “less”.
It, unfortunately, also taught many to be wary of fair foreigners. But as time went on, painstakingly enough people changed ideas and labels.
But time and again, history is replicated eerily down to its very fabric.
A coup attempt’s leader had been let off without consequences once before, and then ten years later that nation had that same man crowned as a genocidal tyrant.
Doesn’t that sound swell?
Because just as the crusades grew into colonization, slavery and suppression as discrimination and poverty, the violence took on new names, new faces, voices, and skins, covering its molding, reeking body with once familiar cloaks.
But why is time so cyclical? Mundanely coming right back after we swear up and down we’ve learned our lesson.
Like children saying we won’t steal from the cookie jar every time we are caught elbow deep.
“That’s just the way the world works.”
“Humans are just like that.”
That’s just how it is.
We dig our feet in the dirt to excuse old behavior for ease. Trade steps forward to protect the sliver of superiority some of us have managed to snag onto.
Barbara Alice Mann said that “westerners are fond of the saying ‘Life isn’t fair.’ Then, they end in snide triumphant: ‘So get used to it!’”
How horrid. How cruel and sadistic, protecting everything that is wrong with humanity.
And yet, what a colonistic view. When it comes to winning an upper hand, you will beat it into them that what you did can only be natural and just. To mangle nature herself.
Alien in the way that even animals care for those that do not belong, but humans betray their own.
But that isn’t human nature.
We just want people to be happy. Odd that we are so separate now, so far away but someone else’s smile sprouts a tendril of contentment in us, and another person’s pain hurts us just the same.
We feel uneasy not showing gratitude and we like the older woman calling us a “darling”, that seems payment enough for a good deed. We squeeze our legs in at theatres for passersby and share a light joke on the train over a similar experience.
We are so far removed from the primal need for survival and unity but it breaks through the cracks when we jog ahead to hold open a door. Only for brief moments in the short intersections our lives make.
We are inherently good, because those unnecessary and fleeting “thank you”s and “no, go ahead”s or “your shoes are pretty”s make holy places out of rubble and gods out of intentions.
When we are told that “life isn’t fair,”
And that it shouldn’t be any easier,
our response will be, “Then make it fair.”