Ask someone which they like, convenience or inconvenience, and I think almost 100% of replies would be “convenience.” The more convenient something is the better, and the happier we are. “It’s sooo convenient!” we say with a smiling face. We love convenience. In Japan they call small shops like 7-11 “Convenient stores.” Why? Because they are dotted around, often in places where there is nothing else, and they stock a supply of things that we need quickly: a drink, food, “emergency items.”
But what does convenience or inconvenience do to our health? Is convenience always good?
Because things are convenient, we tend to think such things as good. But is that true? Would you make the food from a 7-11 for example part of your daily diet? You could, but it would not do you any good in the long run. The convenience would eventually make you sick. If you have seen the documentary “Supersize Me” then you know what I am talking about. It documents one man’s trial of eating nothing but MacDonald’s (yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner) for 30 days. When the experiment ends he has serious health issues. Morgan Spurlock, “the consumer” in this trial said, “In only 30 days of eating nothing but McDonald’s I gained 24.5 lbs., my liver turned to fat, and my cholesterol shot up 65 points [to 230]. My body fat percentage went from 11 to 18%. I nearly doubled my risk of coronary heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure. I felt depressed and exhausted most of the time. My mood swung on a dime.” In this regards, by always choosing the convenient choice, we make our bodies sick (It’s a fact that the more time people spend in the kitchen preparing food, the healthier they generally are.)
One author wrote, “success comes at your inconvenience, not your convenience.” And someone else said, “All progress, change, and success is based on a foundation of inconvenience!” Is this true? Let’s look into what they are talking about.
Convenience is based on desire. Something that agrees with our desires, we like. We like a person if they agree with our views, or if they help us get what we want. But what if the same person goes against our views, or worse, they block us from attaining the object of our desire? We will find it hard to like them, or to think of them as a good person. Such a person is inconvenient. Convenient is easy; inconvenient is not, because it’s going against who we are, which is desire. We are 100% desire teaches Buddhism. Therefore we naturally gravitate towards the path of the quickest way to fulfilling our desire, and the way that feels good for the moment. It is pleasure of the moment, rather than with an eye on the future.
“All that comes easily is poverty and shame” is what it says in Something You Forgot Along the Way (page 177). If we continually give into the easy way, we are paving the path for a life of misfortune and failure. The path to success is the path of inconvenience, say the experts. For example, “It is well to know that sometimes in life it is necessary to disappoint others for a time… in order to accomplish a greater purpose” (Something You Forgot... Along the Way page 159). If a parent gave into the request of a child every time it asked for sweets or toys, the child would be a mess in every way in a short time. A parent has to have wisdom to disappoint the child for the moment so the child does not become spoiled and weak. The same goes for us. If we keep giving into our desires we will find it hard to stick to a path of any difficulty. Because at almost every turn we make we are tempted by something, it can only be beneficial to develop a will to resist temptation, and seek the path that can challenge us.
(To be continued...)
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #55 | 2015, Convenience or Inconvenience: Which To Choose? (Part 1)
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The Buddhist Village Times #49