Brown: Condemned to convenience

We live in a convenient world. This paper was conveniently placed near the Caf so you would be able to grab it and read it while eating. It was not strategically positioned in some remote part of campus where only a few people would be able to find it. That’s not convenient or easy, nor would it expose you to the journalistic excellence of the Crimson.

We have convenience stores that sell gasoline, refreshments, medicine and even hokey memorabilia that you just know your cousin will love for her birthday. We willingly pay a convenience fee to use our credit cards instead of cash or to pay online. We want life to be quick, simple and ultimately beneficial to us.

But beyond getting your gas, a Big Gulp and week’s supply of Slim Jims, convenience poses a problem. In some areas of life, is it not better to exert effort?

Take, for example, relationships. Is it not better for us (at least in our current life station) to seek people, rather than just settle for or take what is immediately available? Ladies, isn’t there something romantic about a guy pursuing you, vying for your attention? Isn’t it exciting to hold the power to break his heart or make his dreams come true? Gentlemen, Ne-Yo told us how great it is to have an independent woman willing to pour gasoline on the spark of attraction. Dating the nearest guy or gal just because he or she was available does not really seem like a quest or a challenge. Working toward a relationship (or really anything) gives us a sense of accomplishment.

However, for all the Emersonian self-reliance we can muster, there must be an acceptance of the lot Fate has cast for us. Perhaps convenience is what is meant for us at that time. Perhaps what seems convenient at the time may turn into a beautiful, passionate relationship.

We should work within convenience. If something drops into your lap, work to pursue it, understanding that the situation is available. However, this does not mean you should pursue someone just because he or she is there. At some level, passion and the pursuant quest are necessary in any relationship. Create this within a convenient structure and see what happens.

Perhaps you can share your Big Gulp and Slim Jims.

Zach Brown is a sophomore history major from Franklin, Tenn. He can be reached at

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