morninglogic

Some words on our world.

The Discomfort of no Distraction

I was hoping for an early-to-bed night tonight. Admittedly, for me, early-to-bed is anything before 1AM, but the goal was in sight regardless. After getting ready for bed and reading a few chapters of Born to Run I planned on playing on my phone or watching some Burn Notice to help me drift off, but I felt my eyelids start to droop and satisfaction in a rare successful attempt to get to bed early set in, so I clicked off the light and settled into my blankets.

Next thing I know it’s 3AM and I’m writing a post for a WordPress I haven’t updated in around two years.

Setting aside the sleep issues, I did feel like using the opportunity to get out some thoughts that, in various forms, I’ve meant to get out on this medium for a while now. As I lie there in the dark, my thoughts started drifting to some of my struggles of late. Next thing I know, my heart is racing as I panic in a sort of quarter-life-crisis mindset. I began to worry about nearing 30 years of age, unmarried, not finished with school yet. I normally scoff at others who worry about that sort of thing–both of those circumstances are, admittedly, by choice (in my case). Yet here I was, almost sweating in worry about them, about things I’ve always been able to laugh off.

The details of my worries aren’t as important to my point as the simple fact that I had them. I most often will use some form of media entertainment, TV or Facebook, to sort of bore myself into getting to sleep. Tonight, when I didn’t, I really got myself worked up! I recognize that I’m an anxious person generally and it is late enough that my mood probably isn’t too hot, but I haven’t felt myself spiral off like that in a while. This is from someone who worries a lot and has faced some huge decisions lately–yet something about this was different. Without turning on some form of screen to prevent my mind from drifting anywhere important, I managed to leave myself vulnerable to some very uncomfortable thoughts.

I see a counselor for my anxiety, and this idea of discomfort tends to come up fairly regularly; sometimes even on this very topic of getting to sleep at night. It’s very common for me to sort of ‘fight off’ bedtime…fully recognizing what I’m doing and knowing it’s a poor choice, I often simply cannot will myself to take the steps towards going to bed. Typically it’s not until 2-3AM that I’m so exhausted that I’ll finally drag myself to bed and crash. When asked by my counselor why I think I do this, I was once able to come to the conclusion that it’s probably because I’ve had trouble falling asleep in the past, and I despise sitting in bed for ages, unable to sleep. I was almost subconsciously avoiding that discomfort.

Now, even when I do get to bed “early,” I nearly always use some method of distraction to, once again, avoid the discomfort. The idea of “avoidance behavior” or “avoidance coping” is no new idea to the psychology world, especially in relation to anxiety. Only in recent years have I come to realize what a significant underlying issue it is. It’s the ultimate emotional illness painkiller. It doesn’t fix the problem, and can only address the symptoms in a way that makes them worse later. Anyone reading this who’s starting to resonate with where this is going, I encourage you to look into the concept.

What really struck me about this whole situation tonight is that TV, Facebook, my smart phone, really any form of digital or media entertainment…they’ve all become vessels of avoidance. Perhaps not all the time, but in this case, I couldn’t deny it. Probably just managing to forget how uncomfortable I become without some kind of avoidance, I let myself be vulnerable, and sure enough, BAM…I was swimming in discomfort. My modern digital comforts have become my go-to avoidance behavior. Certainly not a new idea, we see (ironically) countless posts, articles, and YouTube videos about how addicted we’ve become, but that sunk in to a new personal level for me tonight. I’ve had similar thoughts before, but this time really drove it home.

I’m overall glad I was able to have the experience, though. Not only was I able to formulate my thoughts here and call it out (which is a good idea with any avoidance behavior), but I was able to sit with that discomfort for a while. My counselor says this is a good technique to help a person start to overcome the true underlying emotional problem–avoidance behavior, much like painkillers, merely addresses the symptoms, and can make the problem worse. I’ve heard it related to being locked in a room with a snake. Yeah it’s insanity, but in reality, assuming both you and the snake’s basic needs were being met, you’d eventually get used to each other and be just fine. However, if you were to constantly try to avoid the snake, backing into the corner and submitting to your fear, that fear would simply compound on itself and you’d never do anything but be afraid…and likely eventually get bit.

Pride

I had an experience not too long ago that taught me just how dangerous pride can be.

A friend and I were on a motorcycle ride on a twisting canyon road. I love my motorcycle, but it isn’t anything to proudly take to the race track–a 650cc cruiser. Plenty of power to get around and enjoy the ride, but not a showboating bike. As we were winding up the road, we were passed by a couple bikers on high-powered bullet bikes. This friend of mine is a girl, so naturally my manly pride was hurting a little. I didn’t want to be shown up.

I let my pride get to me a little, and took the next turn or two a little faster than I normally would. However, my bike simply isn’t made to take corners at high-speeds, and I didn’t have the control I wanted as I did this. I stopped trying in vain to show off, and continued taking turns at a normal pace.

As we approached the top of the outlook we were headed to, we turned a corner to see one of those bullet bikes…on its side, feet away from a very steep drop off, chunks of its siding torn off. Then its rider: scraped and cut up, embarrassed, with a broken wrist. We pulled over to offer a hand getting his bike up, and when we asked what happened, he quickly responded: “I just got cocky.”

Lesson learned.

…to act…and not to be acted upon…

I recently had to make one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. There were many emotions involved, pros and cons in every direction, no clear right or wrong in many ways. The details of this decision aren’t what I’d like to talk about so much as some things I needed to realize to make it.

In the Book of Mormon, it reads that men are free “…to act for themselves and not to be acted upon…” I think similar words are  in other scriptures, as well. The religious principle is that of agency. You’re free to make your own choices, to choose righteousness, or to sin. God won’t force you to follow His will. I’ve always liked the message of this verse, but lately it’s become very personal in a more temporal way.

I think it started last school year, when I lived in an apartment complex that was newly built. It was very expensive, and your typical college student supporting his or herself can’t afford nice things. You guessed it…the place was swarming with mommy and daddy dependent, spoiled kids. My roommates certainly weren’t the least of them. While I’m totally aware of this now, I think I sort of pushed it to the back of my mind at the time. Instead of acknowledging how different I was than my neighbors and just working with what commonality we did have to get along, I tried to really fit in. I tend to be a people pleaser sometimes, perhaps more than I should be. So, for lack of a better phrase, I stooped to their level.

Eventually I realized that I became almost ashamed of my own personality. I didn’t feel free to respond to things the way I normally would, talk about what I’d normally like to. For some reason I tried to fit into a crowd of people I’d normally never regularly associate with. Of course I recognize that there were also many kids there who weren’t so different from me, and that there are ways to cooperate with people very different from you without changing who you are. I just didn’t handle the situation very well…it was my first time moving out, and I was still learning.

This adaptive change in my personality sort of became habit. It felt very strange. Sometimes I recognized that I was behaving oddly, though I didn’t quite catch on to what was happening. It hurt my confidence. Sometimes I did feel like myself again, and I think those moments are what helped me eventually catch on to what I was doing. While in this phase, I made many decisions that I likely would have handled much differently had I still been as confident in my personality and opinions as I was before–including the one that I recently had to overturn.

I’ve always rolled my eyes when people talk about “finding themselves.” Now I’m not so skeptical.

A close friend of mine called me just last night to vent about her guy troubles. Her dating difficulties were becoming discouraging, partially due to pressure she felt from the culture that sometimes thrives in the LDS setting. In our church, we believe that marriage is an eternal principle, essential for exaltation. Unfortunately, this often results in a lot of pressure from church leaders(and older, married members generally) towards those of us who are still single, and it tends to get exponentially worse with age. I was recently told something to the extent of, as far as marriage in the church goes, that I was “getting old.”

I’m 25 years old.

I don’t mean to complain or criticize; members of this church can be as imperfect as anyone else in this world, and likely don’t realize how ridiculous and detrimental the pressure can be. Going back to the discussion with my friend, her frustration rang very familiar to me. I was just realizing how much I’d allowed others to influence my actions and opinion about myself. Both of us, in different ways, were allowing ourselves to be acted upon.

There are an incredible number of forces acting on us every day that would have us do or be something we aren’t. It’s human to want to fit in, be accepted, try to follow whatever paradigm of normalcy we’ve adopted. In some ways this is good pressure; it can encourage us to improve ourselves. Sometimes, though, we feel pressure to change unique parts of ourselves that we should be proud of, or to think we aren’t doing enough, even if in reality, we’re giving it our all. Thankfully, we’ve been given the gift to act…and to not be acted upon. We can act on the influences we come under in any way we like. We can listen and adapt, which may lead to good or bad things…or we can choose not to be acted upon at all, and continue to happily live our lives, loving who we already are. Accept positive influences to build ourselves up and improve on ourselves, and reject the rest.

It’s a wonderful blessing, but it’s easy to forget sometimes.

 

 

Change

I moved this week. As probably anyone who has moved knows, there are a fair amount of stresses involved. Of course there are expenses, time and effort involved in transporting your things and organizing them, the surface inconveniences. If that wasn’t enough, on top of all that, you have to deal with the inherent stress that a big change brings. You start to miss the good things about your old situation, and the bad things of your new situation start to wear on you.

I’m not a fan of the typical words of wisdom you get when you tell others you’re nervous about change. “Change is good,” they say. “Out with the old, in with the new,” they say. I once posted a fairly strong, but overall popular, opinion on Facebook, against a recent change(what the change was not necessarily being relevant to this discussion). Many people expressed agreement and ‘liked’ the comment, but one person took it upon himself to play devil’s advocate in the situation, replying to my and several other’s comments in disagreement. He sarcastically explained how “some people are just afraid of change.”

I didn’t indulge his provocations on the thread, but I did think about his claim. Given the chance to reply to it, I would’ve offered the following scenario: we cut his salary in half. That’s a pretty darn big change, wouldn’t you agree? Then we observe how pleased this individual is with this change in his life. See if he is “scared of change.”

Clearly, not all change is good. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to promote fear of change. I recognize my example is extreme, and many people may not even call it a ‘change’ so much as a trial. Change is typically a more level thing…that is to say, the ‘old’ and ‘new’ are actually almost balanced in terms of the pro/con count. However, what I do mean to say, is that change is a real stress–especially for a worry-prone person like myself. It’s easy to fathom all the things that could go wrong, and dwell on all the negative aspects of the change. To see all the greener grass on that other side.

Maybe it’s like any other unfortunate occurrence in our life…there’s simply a grieving period. Which is OK. There are almost always real sacrifices involved with a change, no matter how good it may seem at first, and they can be hard to deal with. They typically don’t just go away, you may need to deal with them from then on. In my case, I’m moving from a private room in a nicer home to a shared one in an older home. It’s pretty easy to be sad about not having some space exclusively to myself. It’s easy to think too much on the electrical problems, extra bugs and spiders, and dirty condition of an older home. In my few days here, I’m still fairly far off from really feeling at home.

I am, however, convinced that as time goes on, the cons will start to fade into inconveniences I’ve learned to deal with without a second thought. The pros will start to be things I dread living without…being a couple blocks from my workplace, living with my longest friend, being in the same church ward as more people my age and in my life position, etc. Today in church I got a glimmer of a place where I could really feel at home. As I continue to organize my things and talk to my friend about things we’d like to do to make the place our own, it can be very exciting. The pros start to squish the cons.

Not every situation will be like mine. Again, I started this post with the assertion that change isn’t necessarily always a good thing…and that’s fine. Sometimes it’s still necessary, or there’s nothing you can do once the change has been made, and you must learn to deal with it. But in the very act of doing so, you’ll make that change more than worth it. I could say “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but I think Paul V. Johnson, a leader in the LDS religion, said it much more eloquently in this talk. In it he shares many ways that difficulties can benefit us through stories and examples.

If we handle these afflictions properly, they will be consecrated for our gain.

Of course there are many religious points in his discourse, but even those uninterested in that can glean much from it. Whether it be the cons of an overall balanced change or the repercussions of a real trial, there is always something to be gained. Even if I managed to inflict my Facebook naysayer with a slashed salary, he very well could have drawn a lot of good from it…he might develop strong budgeting skills that help him throughout life, or learn a lot about what really brings happiness. Or…just simply not to go around hating on Facebook.

So don’t worry if a change in your life is bringing you down. The worries floating through your mind are probably very real, and are nothing to be ashamed of. As time goes on, in whatever form they might be in, the benefits will start to creep in…and so will more changes.

Economics on Anxiety

Last year, I was fortunate enough to live with a roommate who studied economics. I have always had a curiosity about investing, business, and other economical subjects, and we had a few discussions. Whether or not he realized it, some of the things he taught me about money dwelled in my mind long enough to become lessons on other aspects of life.

Shortly after he moved from our apartment, I discovered that the stress I dealt with was different than many of my peers; I have anxiety. It’s not unique or especially bad, just one of those things where awareness of it can be beneficial. A quick google search shows that anxiety is essentially stress that results from worry; unease about what might happen. For me, this manifests itself heavily in decision making. I’m not talking about decisions of magnitude, like which college to attend or house to buy(though, of course, those can be very difficult too); but rather decisions others may not even consider a true “decision.”

Let me paint a brief picture. I own both a motorcycle and a car, and, as of writing this, live about a 20 minute commute from my workplace. Some days, the decision as to which of the two vehicles to take becomes so difficult, it might be considered debilitating. I check the weather, I think of things I might need that day, think of other places I need to go, think of gas mileage, the condition of both vehicles, whether or not I’ve checked the tire or oil pressure in one or the other recently, the wear on the tires, who I might meet that day and may need to give a ride, how hot it is and what troubles of which vehicle I want to deal with involving heat(or cold), which route I might take and what vehicle might make it more comfortable, the parking situation. But wait, there’s more! This decision layers itself with others. Obviously, depending on the vehicle I choose, I have to wear appropriate clothing. It’s hot this summer, and I’d rather wear shorts and a t-shirt when possible, but if I take my motorcycle, that’s not really feasible. So if I was to wear shorts and take my car, which ones should I wear…will I be seeing some people I need to impress today? Oh if that’s the case shorts won’t do…then again, I’ll probably just be in the lab…oh but I actually might take my motorcycle, so pants would probably be wise. Oh shoot, if I switch now I’ll have to find a different shirt to wear, and…..

I think I may have made my point, and I’m sorry to put you through that. Before I know it, I’ve wasted hours of my day, on a decision(or two…maybe three….anyway…) that has a slim chance of making any difference on my life whatsoever. I don’t say that to bring upon myself the judgement I’m sure I have, only to show that it’s something I have to work to overcome(and to give an idea of how ridiculous it sometimes is), and emphasize how helpful these lessons on economics have benefitted me.

One time, waiting for a meeting to begin,  my roommate was talking to another friend about a purchase decision. He explained that there are two types of people: satisficers, and maximizers(I recognize this isn’t an original idea. I don’t know the origins, though I am aware there are various books and articles that discuss it). Here’s how it works when it comes to buying something: say you are looking for a nice big flat screen HDTV. If you’re a ‘satisficer,’ you gain a little knowledge on the subject, and set some conditions. For example, the satisficer may say he wants the TV to be at least 40″ diagonal size, 1080p definition, have two HDMI inputs, and cost $400 or less. His expectations aren’t unreasonable, and they meet his needs and budget. Perhaps it takes him a little research or a couple store visits to meet his conditions, but in the not-so-distant future they are met, he purchases his TV…and he’s content. Nay; happy. After all, he literally got everything he wanted.

Then there’s our maximizer. She doesn’t give a dollar value that fits her budget, nor a minimum size of the TV she wants. Sure, she may have the funds for most any TV, and may say something like, ‘nothing under 32″ will do.’ There might even be a couple definites, like 1080p or having wi-fi connectivity. But the bottom line is, she wants the best TV, the biggest size of it, at the best price. She’ll spend a sickening amount of time searching for this holy grail of TV deals. There are hundreds out there any given day, if you look on the net. Because she sees one seemingly great TV go from $480 to $465 overnight, she insists on waiting it out further. A month or two goes by, perhaps she even decides to wait for Black Friday deals(even though it’s February). She finally sees one that’s about what she wants, likes the price, and buys it. Awesome! Got a stellar deal on the TV. Two weeks later, she’s walking to the shop…and sees the same one for $20 less than she paid. Suddenly her purchase was a major fail, and she’s no longer content.

The problem is, she tried to go with the “best” choice, when in reality, there likely isn’t one. With some room for exception, almost every TV she could have bought would’ve been roughly equivalent. Sure, she could save some money here, get better features there, but the rule of “getting what you pay for” tends to hold true most of the time. After the choice is made, it’s nearly inevitable to run across some even greener grass not far down the road.

Note that the satisficer didn’t just blindly purchase the first TV he saw, either. He set standards that helped him be budget-conscious and get what he really wanted–there was some effort involved. The law of diminishing returns starts to play a role. For example, continuing the use of a TV purchase, let’s say there’s a model with everything you want for $500. But you’re a maximizer, so that’s not really doing it for you…the next model up is 10″ bigger, 10% lighter, 5% thinner, and is overall a sharper experience; but it’s 160% the cost, at $800. You also considered the model one step down, but it was 10″ smaller, 10% heavier, 5% thicker at $450…clearly it’s more than worth it to pay an extra $50. Is it worth it to pay an extra $300 to double those benefits? Probably not. The maximizer may have even gotten a better deal than the satisficer, but she’s taken up significantly more time that could’ve been used to compensate for that cost difference, and overall isn’t happy with her purchase.

Having already established my intended connection between economic issues and anxiety, you can probably see that these concepts are readily applied to decision making generally. When I’m choosing my mode of transportation or clothes in the morning, I’m trying to maximize. Attempting to make the absolute best choice, factor in every possible situation and outcome. But the reality is, it doesn’t matter that much! Even if one of the possible poor outcomes ends up becoming reality, it likely won’t be consequential 24 hours later. Even a massive, unexpected rainstorm catching me on my motorcycle isn’t much of a tragedy, and will probably end up as a funny story more than anything else. Sure, I could take a few minutes to check the weather and decide if my plans that day require more luggage than is feasible on a bike, maybe adjust for my mood, but beyond a few minutes the returns on these decisions diminish significantly. Taking two hours to get the last two points on a 100-point, half hour homework assignment? Probably not worth my time. Even big decisions need to be given boundaries. Adding stress and excessive time consumption to the decision only makes it bigger.

I have to think about this consistently throughout my day. Satisficing is a great way to decide what you truly care about and need. Considering the diminishing returns of your efforts, time, and money gives perspective on the magnitude of a decision, helping you decide how much you should really put into it. When I find worry creeping in on me, starting to consume my time and energy, I try to take a step back, list my needs, decide the extent of the consequences, and work from there. So often, the decision is very trivial. There’s just not much to lose, or sometimes, even if there is, there’s little I can do about it, and my primary needs will still be met. I’ve found that very rarely is a decision worth the time of day I’m tempted to give it.

I’m sure there’s even more parallels that could be made between economics and anxiety(please share if you think of any!). Hopefully these ideas that have benefitted me can be helpful to others, too.

Lessons Learned from Minesweeper

Minesweeper

I rather enjoy playing the classic game Minesweeper. If you haven’t ever played it, you should. It’s a simple concept: you have a game board consisting of a grid of grayed out squares. Behind any given square could be a mine; your goal is to identify all of them by opening all the squares that don’t hide mines. To this end, non-mine squares indicate how many mines are touching it’s sides or corners with a number(or nothing, if there are no surrounding mines). The game is challenging in some ways, but overall very simple. For me it’s perfect for a little mental stimulation that doesn’t require all my concentration, but does prevent my mind from otherwise wondering.

But that’s not my point. In the not too distant pass, I thought about ways  Minesweeper can teach us a bit about life. That’s what happens when you’ve played well over 1,000 games of something. At any rate, the analogy is simple but I think we could all learn something from a couple significant points about the game.

The first point, is that it is hard. Sure, there are mindless tasks…if an opened square with a “3” in it is only touching three un-opened squares, they are all mines. If you’ve already confidently identified two mines that are touching a “2,” you can safely open any other squares touching said 2. Slowly you start to catch slightly less obvious tricks. A 2 surrounded by 1’s on a flat row of unopened squares always means the 1’s are sitting on mines. Eventually you’re systematically opening squares, or flagging them as mines, using very complex patterns. They just become like muscle memory; second nature. I’ve gotten to a point where I may not be able to tell you how I know that certain squares are or aren’t hiding mines.

As we go through our life, we start by picking up some menial tricks. Addition, subtraction. We grow into being able to solve more complex problems, be they advanced math, using a computer, playing a sport with accuracy and skill. Then we continue to really master these ideas, combining them into truly amazing and useful abilities…including some we can’t quite teach or explain. You can’t just say the magic word to help someone master a craft, nor can you explain how you may be able to read a person and know what’s on their mind, or other acts of intuition.

My second point, and this was more profound in my head for some reason, is that you simply cannot always win. If you have two unopened squares trapped in a corner, with their adjacent squares indicating nothing more than that one is a mine? Good luck…your odds are 50/50. There are a few more scenarios where this can happen, and they do…sometimes several times per game board. As I’ve played the game again and again, I’ve gained some small educated guessing ability as to what I have come to believe are probable outcomes of such situations. However, there’s no actual way to know…in fact, I frequently think I’m making up these “more likely” scenarios. So, while the situations you once considered impossible do dwindle over time, and you may think you’re gaining some ability to guess with better odds, the fact is, you can’t guarantee a win in these situations. You may or may not get lucky.

That’s just it. Life sometimes simply is not fair; and there’s nothing we can do about it. Sure, we learn from our mistakes, we often realize a situation we thought was unconquerable actually is, and our experience can help us gain a certain(though possibly false!) ability to guess our way through things. But sometimes, hard things happen, and there isn’t a thing you can do to change it. I’m reminded of the famous poem often referred to as the “Serenity Prayer:”

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Sometimes in life we can’t have control of what happens to us or others, as much as we may hate it. Not to say there isn’t a purpose to these things. I’m a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and my faith has led me to believe that these situations(we may call them trials), if handled with care, can be hugely beneficial to us. After all, it isn’t when things are easy and convenient that we learn the strongest lessons.

Who knew a game that came pre-loaded on your computer could be so profound.

I Don’t Believe in Modern Medicine

I named my blog “Morning Logic” almost as more of a nostalgic reference to my past more than intending any sort of specific meaning. Some friends and I used the term for those times when you’ve just woken up, or when it’s so late, that you are prone to say things that make about as much sense as naming your child North West. Therefore,  ‘morning logic.’

What probably would’ve been a more fitting name to represent what I feel will be the direction of this blog, would have been I Don’t Believe in Modern Medicine. Let me start by saying, that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the miracle of 21st century advancements in medical science. My mother once was rushed to the hospital, and without going into detail, a doctor promptly, and almost routinely, saved her life. It didn’t even seem to be challenging for him; my mother, in awe, asked, “What would they have done in the past, in this same situation? What would have happened?” To which the doctor simply replied, “They died.” I tell that story to ensure my would-be title doesn’t give the wrong impression; I appreciate the doctors and scientists who make this possible.

Here’s an example of why the title does, actually, make sense: I will avoid taking medicine, particularly pills, at most any cost. My original reason for this was the influence of my father. He severely injured his neck in military training years ago, and has since been regularly swallowing about as much medicine as he does food. The effect on his body and mind has not been desirable. I know this is an extreme case, but having seen that my whole life, it does have an impact. I also discovered in dealing with allergies that I have a sensitivity to medicine. It has a very strong effect at first, but if repeated, the effect drops dramatically, and I am forced to take more or different medications to produce the same results. Not a pattern I want to continue. These began my aversion for pills; though they aren’t the primary reason I like the title.

The reason I would actually consider naming this site after my distaste for modern medicine: the majority of people in this world, who have easy access to them, treat pills as a first resort. I feel strongly that this particular habit has spread beyond medicine, and isn’t healthy. At the slightest sign of pain or discomfort, so many would instinctively reach for some aspirin and not give it a second thought. In how many other aspects of our life do we follow the same practice? When things get a little challenging, how often do we just immediately resort to methods that just get rid of the symptoms…even though it almost never solves the actual problem? That’s exactly what many pills aim to do. Tylenol will not resolve the nutritional imbalance in your body that is causing you headaches…it will merely make the pain go away for a time. Therein lies the meaning of my too-long-winded-too-actually-use-but-otherwise-first-choice title.

I think there is often a better way. No, I’m not some hippie who likes a little milk with his bowl of herbs in the morning. However, I do think many of life’s ails are best solved by working at the problem instead of just erasing the symptoms. We’re too quick to take out a loan rather than improve our budgeting skills, too willing to cheat on tests instead of putting in the time and earning our grades(superficial and obvious examples, but I’ll bring this idea up when it applies more interestingly in other posts). Sometimes we need to let something hurt, which may, in fact, be the path to a cure. Sometimes we need to take a more difficult route to alleviate the symptoms for good.

Obviously the idea isn’t exclusive to medicine or health concerns. Certainly this isn’t just a ‘modern’ problem, either; humans have been making short-term decisions since ever. However, for the sake of theme, we’ll just call this effect ‘modern medicine.’ I don’t like it.