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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


November 19th, 2019


Some people are timid and cautious, operating on something that is more like fear.  Others constantly reach beyond their own limits, striving as if trapped by them, forever seeking a way to escape.


This second group of people are more likely to think that


Comfort is a cage.


The previous episode -582- entitled, Comfort Part I: The Roots of a Word examines the etymological roots of the word.  It derives counter-intuitively from the Latin word fortis meaning ‘strong’, the root for words like fortified, fortress, and of course fort.


The deep etymological roots of the word comfort mean ‘with strength’.


Which at first doesn’t make much sense when we think of that phrase parroted by fitness gurus:


Comfort is a Cage.


Are we to interpret this as ‘strength is a cage’?


This doesn’t make sense until we think of it in more practical terms.  Think of a fort, or a fortress.  Since they have the exact same root, indeed, the word comfort actually contains the word fort, let’s think of the phrase in terms of literal structures and swap out comfort with just fort.


A Fort is a Cage.


Suddenly, it seems to make even more sense than before.  Think of what it’s like to be behind the walls of your own strong fortress.  No doubt it’s more comfortable than being out in the open.  Unless of course your fortress is being sieged.  Then you have nowhere to go, and your comfortable fortress has now become a strong cage. 


As individuals It’s vital to build skills and strengths, our own personal fortress of sorts.  It’s the only way to progress, evolve, move forward and stay healthy and fresh.  But we must do this perpetually, as though we are constantly building forts in order to have respites of safety in order to recover and then plan our next move.  That next move quite literally abandons the current fort through the challenge of trials and growth.


The key is to build a situation that you can be comfortable with, and then push yourself out of your own comfort zone.


It’s to swap those two initial phrases:


Push past your comfort zone until you can say you’re comfortable with the new situation.  Then push again.


Build forts, knowing you need to escape before the fort becomes a cage.



Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 583: Comfort - Part II: Forts & Cages

Tinkered Thinking

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