“It’s Easier Not To”

Last fall, I went to a play. This was the first time since March of 2020 (or maybe a little earlier) that I’d been to a live play in a theatre—very exciting!

Before the lights dimmed and the actors took their places, the artistic director of the company gave a short curtain speech. As is usual in these remarks, he thanked everyone for coming. And then he said, “I am more than usually grateful to you for being here, in these seats, in this place. Our art form only really happens this way—all together in the same room. And of course, we haven’t been able to do that for quite a while, so I’m very glad you’re here. But I also want to recognize that it’s always easier to stay at home than to go out to a play, and I appreciate that you made the effort to come. You chose to be here. Thank you.”

This phrase, “it’s always easier not to,” has been in my head ever since. The opposite of it’s easier not to is it’s worth the effort to.  For the people in the theatre that night, it was worth the effort to secure tickets, leave their homes, come downtown, find parking, and remember their vaccine card and mask in order to have the experience of live theatre for the first time in two years. 

I think the question What is worth the effort? is a resonant one. Many people are reassessing their lives, their careers, and their priorities as a result of the last two years we have all lived through. Each of us has limited energy, time, and resources to expend.

What’s worth the effort? What, for you, cuts through the inertia of it’s easier not to?

Happy New Year!

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