According to the Hebrew Bible, when the Israelites got to complaining about their wilderness wanderings, God sent fiery serpents among them as punishment. Expiring from the serpents’ venomous bites, the people repented, and beseeched Moses to pray for a remedy to the plague. In response, God told the prophet to put a bronze serpent on a pole, promising “that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.”

Look and live. What could be easier? Surely all the Israelites did so, right?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

There actually seems to be an inverse correlation between the simplicity of a solution, and people’s willingness to adopt it.

We tend to equate complexity and difficulty with efficacy and worth. Simple solutions aren’t for us, because we’re not simple creatures — we’re elite, extraordinary beings.

It’s like this:

Man walks into the Store of the World, saddles up to the counter, and asks the proprietor, “So, whataya got for someone who wants to thrive in life?”

PROPRIETOR

“Well, if you want to preserve your mental and physical health, take a short walk every day, prioritize relationships, sleep eight hours a night.”

“If you want to achieve financial security, save more than you spend.”

“If you want to get spiritual, pray every day, read your scriptures, go to church.”

MAN

(smiles, sniffs, lowers voice to conspiratorial whisper)

“Come on, those are the plebe plans. I want to see the special goods you’ve got in the back.”

(leans in)

“You know, I’m kind of a big deal.”

We’d rather try complicated methodologies we’ll never stick with, than humbly admit that, because we’re just as human as the next guy, the boring, ordinary, tried-and-true solutions apply to us, too.

Walk and live. Sleep and live. Socialize and live. Pray and live.

Don’t stubbornly resist the easy, and live.

The post Sunday Firesides: Look and Live appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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