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Are You Diving Into Cement?


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When I was a kid I used to love Bugs Bunny cartoons.

One of my favorites was when Bugs and Yosemite Sam were competing to see who could do the best trick at a circus.

They started by diving from a high platform into a container of water.

They kept getting higher and higher, and the water kept getting smaller and smaller.

Bugs said he would dive a hundred feet into a wet sponge.

Then Yosemite Sam said he would dive five hundred feet into a block of cement.

Of course, that was Bugs' plan all along.

Bugs was the master of the short-term con.

How our current society is run isn't much different.

One way to measure our decline is the language used in official presidential speeches.

For example, if you study the text of every State of the Union going back a hundred years, they keep getting lower and lower in terms of grade level.

Meaning way back in the day, the speeches were complicated and had a lot of dense ideas.

If you look up the Nixon-Kennedy debate on YouTube (famous for being the first one on TV), you'll see what I mean.

Highly articulate and intelligent dudes who had a lot of serious ideas.

Fast forward to today, and the language (of EVERYBODY, not just the politicians you hate) is barely in JHS level of language.

In another ten years, state of the union speeches will be at the kindergarten level.

The general attention span of most people is also getting shorter and shorter.

If you were alive fifty years ago, the only way to know what was going on in the world would be to do some serious reading every weekend when you got the Sunday paper.

Now people expect to see a TL;DR summary at the end of a 400 word paragraph.

The problem with this thinking is that many ideas simply CANNOT be put into a few simple sentences.

Imagine walking into an advanced calculus or physics class and expecting the teacher to tell you in three or four short sentences what all those squiggly lines on the board meant.

Along with our short attention spans is the expectation of instant gratification.

If people can't get their needs met quickly or easily, they scream bloody murder.

Like they are getting cheated or something.

As if the good stuff in life SHOULDN'T be difficult.

Whether we want to admit it or not, believe it or not, sometimes if you want the good stuff, you got to put in the work.

And often times this work isn't guaranteed.

Which means you HAVE to accept the idea of HARD WORK combined with TRIAL AND ERROR.

Most people shudder at the thought.

Which, of course, makes them susceptible to political promises that are on the level of Yosemite Sam's dive into cement.

Understanding how we get here can help you figure a way out.

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