I suspect that one of the most pervasive and damaging problems that people face is their inertia. Surely in some situations there are actual formidable forms of social or political opposition which cause people real harm but outside of that, inertia comes first.
Most people, myself included, have a thought inside their head of the kind of life they’d like to be living. And they have this life, usually at least some distance removed from that ideal, that they’re actually living. They may spend time, a lot of time even, fantasizing about how to bring those two halves together.
The thing about fantasies, imagined trajectories, plans made in the air, are that none of them will ever cause anything to change. Only taking action — doing the work to take what is inside your head and making it concrete and real in the world — can ever make anything change.
It’s possible that a few people, in the entire arc of history leading to our present situation, have had the ability to change the world without the hard work of doing it being their responsibility. Most of these people were born lucky, which typically means that were born rich.
But for the rest of us, the vast unwashed masses of us, it’s pretty much on our shoulders. If we’re lucky we’ll find a few people who’ll help along the way. People who will help us polish our vision, make it stronger, make it realer. But it’s hard for changes to reach that stage. It takes a lot of demonstrated value and progress for someone to throw their lot in with you and help you make your dream real.
So mostly, it comes down to you. It will be your choices and actions determine the course of your life. The sun does shine brighter on some fields than others, it’s undeniable. But whatever field you find your self in, the beauty and brightness of your flower is pretty much up to you. You control if you bloom, when, and for how long.