I had a great lunch with a good friend the other week.
What made the lunch great was the conversation, the food, the atmosphere, and the fact I didn’t see him for a while.
He’s an opinionated person.
He’s a successful entrepreneur who works for fun.
That’s how I see him.
We agree on many topics, and sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree.
Some of our recurring topics are the state of the world, humanity, Dutch politics, and living in the Czech Republic.
There are moments I’m happy he’s not running the country.
He’s a loyal reader of my weekly insights, provides me with feedback occasionally, and is straight when he doesn’t like something I wrote.
Last week, he told me I’m not addressing basic human behavior enough.
I asked him to elaborate because I do feel I address human behavior.
He explained that I should write more about the fact that most humans are well off and don’t know what real suffering is.
“More. More. More. Erikjan. People always want more. We’re too well off and no longer know what suffering means.”
“Look at our kids. They’re the rubber tile paradise generation. No pain, no bruises, no broken bones. When they fall, there’s always a rubber tile to soften the landing.”
He did not mean this only literally but also proverbially.
“We’re overprotective with our kids. We’re not helping them be more resistant to the outside world that’s becoming more dangerous and hostile.”
“Rubber Tile Paradise.”
A quote I missed from a well-known Dutch author I love reading.
My friend is right about some, and I would challenge him on other points.
I agree with the fact that we’re overprotective of our kids.
They would benefit from a few more bruises and mistakes before they enter the adult world of responsibilities, work, success, and failure.
That’s how society has developed over the years.
We have created rubber tiles everywhere.
We’ve made our world more convenient for ourselves.
AND… our kids are along for the ride.
Smartphones. Internet. Airconditioning. Ready-made meals. Antibiotics. Meat substitutes. Viagra. Infrastructure. Artificial Intelligence. Tailor-made education.
When we judge the world our children grow up in, we should look in the mirror first.
We have created this rubber tile paradise world. Kids can’t produce rubber tiles.
So when we don’t like it, we should do something about it ourselves.
We own this problem, not our kids.
If we can’t accept it, we should do whatever we can to influence it.
But definitely, we should stop complaining from the sideline.
Run for office, vote for a different party, or accept you can’t influence it and stop wasting your energy.
That’s how I approach the things I can’t influence.
SO BE IT!
My energy goes to things I can influence.
It’s one of the reasons I write. If I can make one person reflect and act with every insight I write, I’m having a good day.
The only way we can change the world is one conversation at a time.
If you don’t like rubber tiles, don’t buy them. If nobody does, they’ll disappear.
That’s how it works.
Your turn: Rubber Tiles or Tough Love?
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