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The Tyranny of Comfort


Tyranny: 1. Cruel and oppressive rule.

2. Cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.


Comfort: 1. A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.

2. The easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress.


Question: When could a perceived good become dangerous? Maybe when the you have reached the point when pursuit of the “good” destroys the things that made it possible.


Assertion: The obsessive pursuit of human comfort has become a tyranny for the earth and its inhabitants.


We know this is happening:

  • When sustaining the comfort of one portion of the community oppresses another


  • When corporations supplant people and communities as the determiner of quality of life.


  • When one generation that benefits from the commonweal deny’s the same opportunities to another.


  • When ignorance becomes an accepted refuge from the discomfort or pain of knowing the truth.


  • When those who are comfortable wield more power than those who are not, and that power is used to protect their comfort or deny opportunities to others.


  • When giving people what they want becomes a value system and accepted as a rationale for “virtuous” decision making.


  • When the protection of comfort (or from discomfort) becomes the principal social and political motivator for individuals and communities.


  • When creative – imaginative muscles atrophy from disuse.


  • When community stamina, resilience, flexibility, adaptability atrophy from lack of collective effort for common purposes.

  • When problem solving becomes a recreation or an exercise.


  • When homogeneity becomes a virtue.


  • When pleasure is proscribed as a palliative for pain.


  • When leaders advance by promising alone


  • When accountability becomes a buzz word for pretending to care


  • When comfort itself becomes a definition of success--- a value unto itself.


  • When virtues, values, beliefs and comforts become indistinguishable in social and political discourse.


  • When one group finds comfort in another’s anguish and pain


  • When the rat pleasures itself to death.

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