So many of us have been trained to think that being particular about what we want is indicative of good taste, and that not being satisfied unless our preferences are met is a sign of worldliness and sophistication. Often, this kind of discernment is seen as having high standards, when, in actuality, it is only a means of isolating ourselves from being touched by life, while rationalizing that we are more special than those who can’t meet our very demanding standards.
The devastating truth is that excellence can’t hold you in the night, and, as I learned when ill, being demanding or sophisticated won’t help you survive. A person dying of thirst doesn’t ask if the water has chlorine or if it was gathered in the foothills of France. Yet, to be accepting of the life that comes our way does not mean denying its difficulties and disappointments. Rather, it means that joy can be found even in hardship, not by demanding that we be treated as special at every turn, but through accepting the demand of the sacred that we treat everything that comes our way as special.
Mark Nepo, Being Easily Pleased