Easy and hard are subjective. What is easy to me may be hard to someone else.
Although I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I also wasn’t born into abuse, loneliness, or racism. Now, these areas aren’t the only things that would make me consider life hard, but they’re a good representation.
Our society loves a good “rags to riches” story. We celebrate people who “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” or “made it out the mud” for my younger folks. This admiration and glorification of struggle often lead us to discount those who didn’t struggle “enough”. We engage in oppression or trauma Olympics which is so outrageous to me because I don’t want anyone to struggle, including myself. We often consider people soft (even if we use different language” because they didn’t have to endure horrific trauma and drama or extreme poverty. I often wonder not so much how we got here, but how we can escape.
Because of capitalism, individualism, and basically the way we are socialized in this country, it’s hard not to glorify or expect struggle even when deep down inside you know it isn’t necessary. We “toughen kids up” so they can survive the real world instead of changing the world that requires them to be tough. We have all heard the “be grateful, it could be worse” speech at some point or another. The truth is that it could also be better.
We glorify struggle so much in this country that it’s hard to relax and just be. We have confused being overworked with having a strong work ethic. We interact sarcastically or even passive- aggressively with people who prioritize downtime. We criticize and label people who want a soft life. I’m not bougie just because I want nice things. I’m not lazy because I take time off or refuse to work myself like a robot. Difficulty is not the only way to build my character. Why is the standard the bottom? It’s time to elevate our expectations.
It’s time to shift our perspective. Soft instead of hard. Easy instead of challenging. Balance instead of chaos. Collaboration instead of competition.
I’ve had challenging times but not a challenging life. Sometimes life situations were difficult, but I’ve had an easy life. Everything that was truly for me has come easily. When I’m in alignment things are easy. I’m grateful for my easy life.
And while we’re on the subject of gratitude, can y’all stop jumping from Halloween in August to Christmas in October!! I still appreciate Thanksgiving. The Christmas season doesn’t begin for me until Santa concludes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade LOL!
Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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