Convenience, Or Congruence?

By Sunday, August 10, 2014 4 0

I like convenience. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Our time and energy are valuable to us.

The question is whether our choices are congruent with what matters the most to us.

I find it convenient to eat out a lot, typically things that aren’t very healthy. When I’m congruent with what matters to me — local farmers, sustainability and my health — I make and eat things like savory zucchini pancakes.

Tomorrow it’s expected to hit 102 degrees here in Portland, Oregon. It would be convenient for us to have an air conditioner. But we believe in resiliency and treading lightly, with a low carbon footprint. So we do what it takes to stay cool without an air conditioner.

It’s convenient for me to socialize with people who share the same background, politics and income level as myself. When I’m congruent with my values, though, I cultivate friendships with people like Mahamudi, a young refugee from Somalia;  and most recently our houseguest Aswan, from Kurdistan. I find that when the chips are down, our differences make no difference — we are united in our human experience.

I struggle with being addicted to convenience, just like everyone else.

But I’m  clear that our lives are rich in what matters to the degree that we put congruence ahead of convenience.

The diamond-cut life is something I am chasing, not something I will ever permanently arrive at.

What are you chasing? When have you felt good about putting congruence ahead of convenience in your own life?

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4 Comments
  • Alison
    August 13, 2014

    Mike, excellent point that our choices aren’t just about us. They’re also about those we love, like Phoenix.

    I’m thinking that your ongoing choice to shop at a certain supermarket might be for reasons that are congruent with your values, even if you haven’t thought about it in particular. The low prices that Walmart offers have the high price of treating their employees so badly that they are the object of major lawsuits, I won’t shop there, myself, because I hate how they treat their employees. But I know that many people have no choice but to shop at Walmart, and I have no criticism of them.

  • Mike
    August 12, 2014

    That’s really cool that you and Thor had Aswan as a house guest. Even if I didn’t want to use or have A/C (which I choose to enjoy) I would have to have it for Phoenix who is an inside dog. I was just contemplating your convenience vs congruence perspective yesterday in that I love shopping at a certain supermarket when I could save so much more money but shopping at Walmart.

  • grnpwrguy
    August 10, 2014

    Yes, yes, yes. I’m always the first to go with the “” quick and easy ” until I realize there’s no free lunch. Everything has different costs and value’s, the question is do those values align with yours. Also, are the true costs really understood.

    • Alison
      August 12, 2014

      I think that once in awhile, something is genuinely quick and easy.
      Like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
      But it doesn’t work to expect things to be that way.
      I especially like your point: what are the true costs of a thing?