Too many people are using the word "struggle" too often and too easily. I first noticed it in 2017.
"He's blunt: 'I struggle with the idea that a cauliflower base with some cheese and tomato on top is called a pizza. It ain't a pizza.'"
That is not a struggle. He had a definite opinion.
2018—the struggle continues.
-=- and struggle keeping the balance...-=-
In June 2018, not about unschooling, from a closed group I'm in, me writing:
The word "struggling" is used too much lately. Everyone says they're struggling about everything.
By 2020 people were struggling with struggling. No one seemed to do or to discuss anything without the word "struggle."
A nice outside metaphor for this is Devil's Snare, invented by J. K. Rowling for Harry Potter's world. It will grab people, and if they struggle, it grabs harder. Relax and it will relax. Shine light on it and it will shrink away.
[in the Devil's Snare]Book:
“She leapt up and struggled toward a damp wall. She had to struggle because the moment she had landed, the plant had started to twist snakelike tendrils around her ankles. As for Harry and Ron, their legs had already been bound tightly in long creepers without their noticing. Hermione had managed to free herself before the plant got a firm grip on her. Now she watched in horror as the two boys fought to pull the plant off them, but the more they strained against it, the tighter and faster the plant wound around them. “Stop moving!” Hermione ordered them. “I know what this is—it’s Devil’s Snare!””
Earlier and other uses, about unschooling
Instead of feeling like you need to struggle, just stop and look at your son and think, "Right now what can I do to make his life a little more interesting?"
(original not found, but quoted here)
"as a Buddhist - I have struggled with the aggression my 4 yr old son has displayed, after attending school for a year..."
My response to that included:
If he's aggressive, how does adding struggle to that help?
On Always Learning in 2011, someone (cranky that we had critiqued her question) wrote (and there's part of my response):
-=-What I was thinking and trying to express was simply a desire to read other people's journeys ("struggles") from a lack of appreciation/knowledge about something (in this case gaming)that their kids are interested in, to an appreciation of it. Many people volunteered their experiences and gave suggestions, all of which-including yours- was helpful.-=- (that was from a post that was returned by another moderator)
There are dozens of accounts of other people's journeys (not so many "struggles"; this list and my site and Joyce's exist to help people stop struggling)...
That same mom, trying to shush anyone who wouldn't agree with her, wrote:
-=- if anyone is willing to volunteer their thoughts and experience with precisely this kind of struggle, I would be grateful!-=-I responded:
Does it need to be *precisely* that kind of struggle?I think "struggle" come with a dramatic martyrdom, wrapped in "You wouldn't understand." How many steps does it take to step out of that puddle of pity and onto solid clarity? I think one. Stop struggling. Breathe and try to think clearly. If that doesn't come naturally, or seems mysterious, here are some ideas: