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The Slope

I am going to postulate that life is about the slope of the incline.

When we are young, high school seems hard, but if you are a well-adjusted adult, you will look back on that period of your life later and realize the stress you encountered then was not comparatively hard to the place you are now. Your present-day self could handle such stress easily. Similarly, the high school version of you could have handled the elementary school version of your life more easily. Later as we grow up more and perhaps have children, get a difficult job laying brick that has us up at 7:00 AM and out the door to work six days a week, you would look back at your first job at a fast-food chain and think, “easy.”

In every case you would be right. That past is probably easier for the present you, because you walked that road, you have that experience. But at the time it was a steep learning curve.

If life is a mountain, we climb, and I hope for everyone it is, then we must acknowledge the importance of the slope. Today we stand higher and so problems of the past appear literally beneath us. They are. And, the uphill climb that is yet to come will be just as difficult. In exercise and in life we train to handle the degree of the slope, more than the relative elevation. And it doesn’t matter how high you are so long as your trajectory points upward at a rate you can sustain.

When we try to look at the world this way, it reminds us of our successes, it reminds us of the journey yet to come, and it reminds us that everyone else is struggling up their own slope. Judge, or don’t, accordingly.

Keep climbing.

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