Mike Zielinski

Mike Zielinski

Although we may kid ourselves and think we are hardy stock, we are creatures of comfort.

We can’t live without air conditioning.

We can watch TV sports programming unless it’s displayed on a 65-inch screen with definition so sharp you can count the quarterback’s nose hairs even with his helmet on.

We can’t even fathom life before there were television remotes.

We can’t eat without microwaves.

We can’t communicate without cellphones and wonder how much more missionary work Paul could have accomplished if he could have texted the Corinthians instead of writing them letters.

We can’t sleep without soft pillows, firm mattresses and soothing sound machines.

We can’t walk anywhere unless it’s purpose is to exercise.

We can’t breathe without first obtaining a restraining order against pollen.

We can’t step outside without first showering with sunscreen.

We can’t ride a bike without a helmet, not to mention elbow and knee pads.

So how did we all get so spoiled?

We’re programmed that way. It’s human nature to be pampered.

Do you really think the Egyptians would have built the Pyramids by hand if they had power tools?

Do you really think our grandfathers would have walked five miles uphill both ways to school (never could figure out how it could be uphill both ways, but I guess the lay of the land was different back then) if their soccer moms had SUVs?

Do you really think our ancestors would have washed their clothes in the river and hung them from tree limbs to dry if they had washers and dryers? Or taken wagon trains to California if they could have boarded a Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

Do you really think our great-grandparents would have used outhouses if they had high-tech toilets that come with automatic bidets and deodorizers?

Do you really think ancient farmers would have watered their crops with wooden teaspoons of water if they had sophisticated irrigation systems?

Do you really think cavemen would have found dates by clubbing cavewomen over the head if they had online dating sites?

By now, you realize that we all take advantage of any and all available luxuries to take the sting out of life.

Except, of course, for zealots who never met a hair shirt they didn’t like. Granted, hair shirts today are really made out of synthetics and don’t even scratch the skin.

I guess symbolic suffering is the latest wrinkle among creatures of comfort.

Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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