Big heroic efforts, vs small daily efforts.
Last week, in the "This Week's Quote" section, I mentioned that there are people for whom I would give it all up in an instant without a second thought. I was talking about this with a friend, and something flipped in my mind.
Big heroic gestures really get our juices flowing... they make great movies and, with the right soundtrack, are usually home run heart-string-tuggers.
It is much easier to say that you will die for someone than it is to change how you live your daily life for them.
It may be true that you are willing to give your life for your loved one, but it is unlikely to ever happen. The world is mostly safe, and 99.9 percent of us will never need to test our "hero" mettle.
For every life saved by one big heroic act, maybe a million or two are cut down by a lifetime of daily slights and shortcomings.
You can see this paradox everywhere... it's not just personal relationship dynamics...
Everyone wants to win the lottery or get a windfall, fewer people want to save $10 a day for 20 years. Everyone wants a miracle diet to strip the fat off of them in a month, fewer people want to change how they eat every day... forever.
And yet, all the durable wins are in daily actions, repeated over years... the rest is just background noise. You can be a moderate asshole for 50 years, and then dive in front of one bullet, and everyone will want the rights to your story. When you grind daily to become the best version of yourself, so that your family is uplifted by you instead of dragged down by you, no one will write a screenplay of your life.
There aren't words to say how strongly I believe this is true.
Every good thing in my life has been built brick by brick, day by day. And every time I thought "This one win will change everything", it ended up being a big nothing burger.
So...if you have, as I do, people for whom you would die, surely they are worth you making the difficult daily effort to live in such a way that their life is better. That would be the ultimate "Heroic Gesture".
I don't know... what do you all think? Email me.
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