Why People Need To Stop Using The Word “Just”
I’m sure everyone has heard this at some point in their life, and probably said it as well. It is normally used in some sense that denotes a shortness or ease.
Just a little bit further.
Just a little bit more.
Just a few more days.
Just one more drink.
It is a deceptively powerful word. Just four letters can completely undermine a person’s sense of self worth and accomplishment. When you stick just in front of anything it makes it apparent that you don’t consider this to be a difficult task or concept. I can assure you that the last thing any one wants to hear after running a few miles in freezing temperatures is, “Just a few more blocks.”
Why is this so damning? It is really quite simple. Just because you’ve been shot in the leg once doesn’t mean that the paper cut you got between your fingers doesn’t hurt. Just because you’ve run several miles doesn’t make your next step any easier. Just because you have been sober for a year doesn’t make staying sober tomorrow any easier than it was today.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that not only raises the expectations of us based on our successes, but also increases the standards for failure based on our accomplishments. If you do something exceptional sure, you might get a pat on the back. However, the next time you do anything people expect you to go just a little further or it is a failure in their eyes.
All I can say is this: If you wake up every day and do 100 push-ups, it is just as much of an accomplishment each morning. You shouldn’t feel like you have to do 110 tomorrow just to still have accomplished something. It isn’t just 10 more, it is 10-whole-arm-breaking-muscle-burning-pain-inducing more push-ups.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t always be looking to improve ourselves and be better than we were, but that doesn’t mean that we have to view everything else as less impressive because we’ve done it. If we all just try to remember that words are infinitely easier than action this would be less of a problem.
It is easy to say to someone that they “only” have to bare pain for a few more minutes when we aren’t the ones in pain. It is easy to tell people to suck it up when we don’t have to experience what they are going through. Just because you are watching someone go through something difficult does not mean you understand it. Whether this is a physical obstacle, a mental exercise or an emotional trauma; the fact that any of us are alive should be considered an accomplishment.
The moral of this rant: Watch how you diminish what other people do, it will affect them.