The Path of Least Resistance

//The Path of Least Resistance

The Path of Least Resistance

  We all like to think that we are unique snowflakes, beautiful individuals who shall pave singular fragments of history that will never be seen again. This may be true at the most literal of levels as we all have some small level of variance regardless of how hard we might try to copy someone. But there is a large part of what we do that is pretty much the same across people, gender, culture, religion, etc.

  One of my favorite ways to show this is by looking at the environment around you. Look at the things that everyone is choosing to do and you will find beneath those actions a chain that links all people involved. In many cases you could simply call it laziness, we take the path of least resistance in most cases just like forces of nature.

  Sometimes this can be very literal, for example the Desire path. When you look at an area that has sidewalks, or courtyards, or if you happen to be back on a trail, if you notice a secondary dirt trail stretching out that is a Desire Path. Basically people find the most convenient path to their goal, so many people will frequent this same path that they’ll kill all the vegetation on the ground.

  An entire business has been built around this knowledge, its known as the service industry. It is more likely that the average person will choose to have someone take care of their problems for them than to actually address it at the individual level. Driving any walk able distance is another very common example. Fast food or TV dinners over preparing your own meal.

  The desire to not meet conflict is also at the center of most political corruption. The people who are actually invested in a topic will continue to push it at the legal level, eventually those it would impact will give up on trying to stop it and the act will pass. This is about as complicated as lobbying is, you just continue to present the demand until the people it will hurt give up. Historically it doesn’t take all that long either.

  You’ll also find the most violent reprisals in nations where being passive leads to a blatant increase in conflict. People are taken to the point where they can no longer enjoy life with the bare minimum of effort and they in turn punish whoever was involved (or appears involve) with the destruction of their all encompassing desire path.

  I’m quite tired so there isn’t much more to add, but it does pay to look at your surroundings. See what paths other people are taking, see if you are doing the same, further see if you are doing it because they are. Did you really want to go that way? Was it really worth the spared time? Was it actually faster? Did reaching your location sooner improve your life in any way?

   Really that would be my biggest question, while watching people endangering everyone around them to beat a yellow light. Will they feel like it was worth it? Laying there on their death bed some years from now, will all those extra seconds have added up to anything? Is our constant search for the path of least resistance costing us moments of reflection?

By | 2012-03-23T23:57:37+00:00 March 23rd, 2012|Journal|Comments Off on The Path of Least Resistance