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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

Everything Dies in Small Amounts — (April 1998) Everything dies in small amounts. Sounds morbid, but it isn't. Think about it. That class that you looked forward to every day? After a while... it's just a class. That job you wanted so desperately? After a while... it's just a job. That career you worked so hard to attain? After a while... it's just a job. It all falls under it. Just a house. Just a car. Just a comic book. Deterioration is an every-day thing ad we pay it no mind simply because we live with the changes and don't notice it. But, come into something after a certain amount of time/deterioration and "Woah! How did *that* happen?!"

So what's the deal? How can we stop this? Everybody knows. Keep a car looking new? Wash and clean it every day. Keep a house looking new? Wash and clean it every day. Keep a relationship feeling new? Wash and clean it every day. Say what? This:

When it comes to material objects (house, car, boat, bike, watch, etc) you must keep it in constant "working" order by physically maintaining it. Daily, weekly cleansing with the yearly overhaul.

When it comes to immaterial (relationships, work, social, spiritual, etc) you must work at it every day, focusing on the positives and trying to smooth out the rough spots. Yearly overhauls are a good thing, too, but in this case, maybe a bi-yearly or even quarterly review would be better. After all, everyone can survive on the barest materialism, but bare immaterial goods... I don't even want to go there.

So what is humankind's problem? The workload. Happiness can't come by itself, there are too many factors involved. There is only effort at the beginning when first establishing methods of life evaluation. After that, as with all things, once you get used to applying your methods, it gets easier and easier to just keep doing it.

Now, is a little effort every day really too much work for continued happiness? It seems to be. We're almost constantly drilled with the false belief that "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." Nothing worth attaining is easy. The effort to reach a goal should enhance the joy of success and bolster the self-confidence and desire to reach the next goal. In other words, we have to take the time away from our daily stresses and check to see if we are properly reacting to every situation we're faced with. As the best-seller states: "Don't sweat the Small Stuff.... and it's All small stuff!"

This all sounds so simple but the journey definitely isn't. That's the main reason people tend to "give up" on problems/situations/relationships, etc. and move on. Sure, confrontation and self-evaluation (who's really to blame for the situation) is difficult, but why lose sight of the goal? Was it not properly defined at the beginning? Has the focus shifted?

Why is it so easy for people to simply give up? Why are humans always looking for the easy out, the easy score, the easy life? Are we all really so weak and apathetic or is it simply "human nature" to accept deterioration of all things? Why is succumbing to despair so inviting? Is society to blame for destroying people's self-worth?

I have no answers. All I know is that it's never too late to change one's life. Happiness is attainable in various degrees. Everything dies in small amounts. But it doesn't have to.

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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