Six Words Not Worth Our While
There is a particularly common and particularly dangerous phrase in our lexicon:
That's just the way it is.
"We're on our phones all the time. That's just the way it is."
"You have to work all the time. That's just the way it is."
"This health insurance plan/hiring process/cost of college makes no sense. But that's just the way it is."
The danger is in how much power this phrase carries. It justifies keeping things the way they are. It's often used to signify our experience - Trust me, the phrase implies, I know how this works and it works like this.
These six words are a champion of the status quo. Viva inertia, they cry. And I see no reason to be loyal to them.
One of the greatest capacities we human beings have is the capacity for growth. We can change, transform, expand - not only ourselves, but our world. And if we want to live into and live up to this capacity, I think we'll have to ditch allegiance to That's just the way it is.
Because our interest isn't a blind acceptance of how things are, but an expansive curiosity about how things could be. Could they be better? More generous? More just?
Unbending devotion to the way things are will not move our world forward. Our world moves forward when the greathearted among us push for a future that is kinder than the present.
So if we are loyal to something, how about we be loyal to the huge possibility of the way things could be?