virgin islands scene

No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.
-- Voltaire


Thursday, October 8, 1998

The easy way

We’d like to think that for every difficult problem there is an easy answer. Yet most easy answers are a trap. They may seem easy on the surface, but they usually demand a serious and substantial compromise.

For example, telling a lie can often seem to be the easy way out of a difficult situation. Yet when you tell a lie you become a slave to it. You must forever bear the burden of maintaining the lie. That usually involves telling more involved lies, each of which compound your burden.

The easy answers are only easy in the short term. The short term is over far too soon, and you are left with the continuing legacy of your reckless haste. When something seems too easy, it probably is.

In the end, the true “easy way out” is to avoid the shortcuts and the too-easy answers, and to do what is necessary and right. Difficult problems require commitment and persistence to overcome. Great accomplishments require great effort. Be willing to pay the price up front. The sooner you do what needs to be done, the more effective you will be.

— Ralph Marston

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