the emptiness of unchallenged comfort

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unchallenged comfort

Lions are powerful carnivores that enjoy eating the flesh from different kinds and sizes of animals in the jungle. The lion, in ‘his’ parabolic pride, prefers to personally kill before eating any animal that ‘he’ chooses to eat. Like lions, human beings pride themselves in their ability to ability to overcome great challenges before getting achievements. Without striving towards achievement, humans may never value achievements nor rise above the emptiness of unchallenged comfort given to them.


Challenge is a fulfilling and inevitable part of meaningful human life. It squeezes out some hidden capacities we may never have known we possessed. We either engage the challenges we see in our world gladly and willingly, or they catch up with us as we run from them. Some people heroically choose to confront human challenges, while others who avoid challenges are caught-up by the challenges. The story of great people are marked by some anxiety-filled stages for heroically confronting challenges before they experience success. In boxing and taekwondo, you are never promoted to the next rank until you defeat a champion or person in the rank.

Without overcoming serious human challenges like hunger, sicknesses, conflicts and natural forces, human beings may never attain fulfilment for their purpose in life. They may not manifest their influential and creative roles, nor find the meaning of their lives in the society. Nature, itself, is crude and has presented different degrees of challenges to different generations of human beings on earth. However, people from these different generations survived and found fulfilment by overcoming some of these challenges in their times. Till today, people are remembered for their achievements because of the challenges they overcame in getting the achievement.

Fulfilment, healthy-self-appreciation, is a state of psychological satisfaction that people experience when they have done something great or selfless. It is a healthy food for the human soul that makes people rejoice when they contribute to worthy causes despite great challenges. However, like normal food, it is to be renewed from time to time by overcoming newer challenges every other day. Hence, people work daily, as groups or individuals, to overcome different human challenges for their society and humanity in general. By overcoming human challenges for the society, they add value to humanity and often get social or financial rewards and comfort.


Comfort is defined as conditions in which somebody feels physically relaxed.[1] It includes the quality of possessing things that make you physically relaxed, or relieved from pain and anxiety.[2] Humans are naturally inclined to seeking comfort, to satisfy bodily pleasures in food, love, rest and beautiful possessions. Yet, all the elements for comfort are not readily given in nature, so, people facilitate the conditions by eliminating challenges.


Hence, conditions for comfort are created by the eliminating challenges to human wellbeing, and the success in overcoming human challenges leads to fulfilment.


Comfort is a necessity for refreshment, wellbeing, development and increased productivity for humanity. People are able to learn, think properly, raise families, socialize, build and construct artistic and technical structures when they are basically comfortable. Hence, it could be said that the attainment of comfort is a preparation for another level of challenge to be overcome. As physically healthy humans must excrete after feeding to remain healthy, so psychologically healthy humans must confront human challenges after enjoying comfort. They are fed, educated and nurtured to make meaningful impact in human history, not just to enjoy and die.


However, people who continually enjoy comfort without confronting challenges often have beautiful bodies but empty minds. Because they are not guided to overcome any challenge for humanity, they start feeling the uselessness and emptiness of their lives. At this point of emptiness, some seek challenges, even worthless challenges, to make some meaning out of their lives. They are like well-fertilized or manured lands without any good seeds planted to grow in them for human satisfaction. After a while, weeds will begin to grown in them as social vices and drug crimes, terrorism, and even suicide.


The emptiness of unchallenged comfort often manifests itself in people who obtain and sustain wealth and comfort without having a social purpose. Different governments make promises of unchallenged comfort to their citizens during campaigns, without considering the emptiness of unchallenged comfort. Some wealthy parents do not hesitate to provide their children with unchallenged comfort. Eventually, they forget the purpose of comfort, which is a preparation for confronting higher challenges to humanity everywhere in the world. 


Some developed countries still strive to sustain the unchallenged comfort bequeathed to their citizens, even at the choking-expense of other suffering nations. Their citizens may never rise above the emptiness of unchallenged comfort. They are humans, and despite the level of comfort they enjoy in the meantime, they have to confront ‘humanity’s’ challenges to be fulfilled. And if you insist on conquering the whole world for them, they will eventually destroy their own humanity.

Gun-laws may never eliminate the emptiness of unchallenged comfort that often manifest in mass-shootings. They have energies to expend, but do not have sufficient direction for the use of these energies. And when the purpose of an entity is not determined and pursued, abuse becomes inevitable. Hence, the guidance to human fulfilment by overcoming human challenges (natural and social) may be the surest means to dispel emptiness of unchallenged comfort.


[1] Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[2] Cf. Ibid.