By Cruz Avendaño Dreyfuss, Centre Environmental Association
Activists set lofty goals for the world and work hard to attain them. They get educated and use their knowledge to further their causes. It’s exhilarating. It’s exhausting. Students set academic goals and (hopefully) study hard to achieve them. They get educated and use that new information to better their future. This can also be exciting. This is also exhausting.
Perhaps you’re not someone who wakes up after their nightly two hours of sleep and walks a mile to the first of three daily jobs. Perhaps you stayed up late doing homework and are tired because you slept five hours instead of your usual seven. From a Utilitarian point of view, your situation is easier than that of someone who works three jobs on two hours of sleep. Even if you’re tired, you (in this scenario) slept a whopping five hours while someone else barely managed two. But life can feel difficult even when it’s comparatively easy. And when someone’s “easy” life feels difficult, that person may feel weak, or as though they should ignore their struggle in order to alleviate someone else’s.
This can be beneficial, to an extent. If, while hiking with your friend, you stub your toe on a rock, that hurts pretty bad. If your friend steps in a hole and breaks their ankle, you can probably power through that stubbed toe and help evacuate your friend.
But the toe still hurts. It probably reminds you every step. You can ignore it for a while, but if you never take a moment to check on how it’s doing, it can get more and more severe. If left untreated, your stubbed toe could become a missing toe, and now the severity of your situation is getting closer to that of your friend’s.
You deserve to check up on your stubbed toe before it falls off.
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