why the easy life isn't praiseworthy

why the easy life isn't praiseworthy
Photo by Louis Hansel / Unsplash
“Success comes to the lowly and to the poorly talented, but the special characteristic of a great person is to triumph over the disasters and panics of human life.”
— Seneca, On Providence, 4.1

You may know some people who seem to have had it made in life from the very start. Maybe they were born into money or had a ton of family connections that made success come easily to them. When you see how smoothly things have gone for them, it's hard not to feel a little jealous and wish you could have caught those same lucky breaks.

However, while being handed everything on a silver platter might seem really nice on the surface, it's not necessarily something to be admired or envied in the long run. Why? Because getting through life without any real challenges or adversity to overcome doesn't show very much about someone's true character or capabilities.

After all, anybody can accept handouts and privileges without earning them — that doesn't make you particularly special or impressive as a person. It's much more admirable when someone achieves their goals through hard work, dedication, and perseverance in the face of real obstacles.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." — Martin Luther King Jr.

The people who should gain our greatest respect and admiration are the ones who refused to quit or take unethical shortcuts, even when the going got tough. Those who stayed motivated and pushed through difficulties through sheer grit and persistence — those are the individuals who have truly shown strength and resilience of character.

So while being fortunate enough to glide through life easily may seem enviable at times, it ultimately isn't as praiseworthy as someone who made it through their own merit and fortitude. The easy way out just isn't that admirable.

As Rose Kennedy beautifully put it, “Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great.”