Today I came to a realization that investing in arenas that last and thrive for years to come is often being exchanged for temporary fame and satisfaction. To be a little less theoretical, we all know the ease of rationalizing taking that piece of pie for the temporary satisfaction, instead of sacrificing that desire for long-term health benefits. It is hard to deny that piece of pie when it is offered to you; however, I want to ponder with you if there are lasting consequences for this tendency’s many realms in our society. I am going to try to cover a few examples that ought to encourage us to invest our time for extended betterment.

Soccer/ football is my favorite sport. Within soccer culture, especially in Europe, there is a tendency to place all your eggs in the basket of the immediate. If a top club brings in a new manager for their team if the results are not up to the owner’s standards then being fired within 4-6 months is no rarity. Why? Because the short-term monetary ramifications of qualifying for a tournament or finishing at a certain place are considered to outweigh the lasting benefits of a coach that invests their wisdom into the team to produce lasting change. In a similar vein, it was easy for most American sport fans to get behind the US Women’s National Team during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Tonight FC Kansas City played out an exciting game against the Houston Dash. These squads represented approximately a quarter of the team that represented the United States in the World Cup, yet viewership reports will likely not reflect a quarter of a given World Cup game. I propose that this is because the league has yet to overcome the difficult transition of encouraging the average spectator to invest their time and emotional energy into the NWSL. Commitment requires sacrificing something; currently the reward for watching women’s soccer has yet to merit the commitment of buying season tickets or even the general public watching the game for free on YouTube.

Another arena that this concept shows itself is politics, at least the current American political structure. Within politics there are two facets I would like to mention. First, there is a constant ebb and flow between political parties based on who angered the largest portion of society most recently. Political parties do not seem to emphasize lasting agreement for the betterment of our nation but constant bickering. Additionally, it seems legislation can often get offered and ratified in a reactionary manner to a current event or popular opinion that does not strengthen society as a whole but allows the politician(s) involved to gain a temporary upper hand.

Looking at life through a wide angled lens requires effort and intentionality. At work or school it requires you to act ethically because you are more concerned with your character than getting that immediate promotion or better grade. There is ease in only caring about what is right in front of us; nonetheless what is beautiful and lasting will not flow from this easy seeking lifestyle. I do not have three steps to make your life more meaningful while you establish a lasting legacy. What I do have is a concern that you and I need to struggle to go beyond the easy, as we transition to a life of sacrificing our temporary pleasures for the betterment of everyone and everything.

Let me know if you have any methods on how you try to invest in more meaningful lasting efforts.

Your friend,

James

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