Type the phrase “quick and easy” into a Yahoo search, and you will get 21,500,000 results. Ironically, it is neither quick nor easy to sort through them all, but the point is that we have become a society that is Hell bent on getting things done quickly and easily. I hesitate to use the word accomplished, since I don’t think many things in life are accomplished quickly and easily. Things get done, but whether we actually accomplish anything is another matter.
We have fast food, microwave ovens, e-mail, instant coffee and instant oatmeal – which actually takes a minute and a half - but I suppose in the cosmic sense, it’s an instant. Quick and easy has become the mantra for almost everything: diet books, exercise, cooking, investing, cleaning and even education. But, as they say, it ain’t necessarily so.
I suppose it helps sell books, but “quick and easy” is a shallow promise, and we all know that no one would buy a diet book called Lose Weight the Slow and Gradual Way. Watch the ounces melt away in months while your cardio-vascular system slowly adjusts to the new, slimmer you! Not a chance, right?
How about, A More Muscular Body in Only 3 Years. You’ll have plenty of time to update your wardrobe with the gradual increases in size that you can achieve in less time than it takes to pay for a new car! Hmm … Maybe not.
I bet you’ll be lining up to buy my new cookbook, Meals for Your Family in Less Than a Day. Serve high-end restaurant-quality food to your happy campers that you can prepare while you nap and do your laundry!
Clean Your House in Two Weeks. Meticulously examine every crack and crevice of your home and have it sparkling clean in less than a fortnight. You’ll finish just in time to start over.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Ten Years. Earn a real degree from a qualified institution in the time it takes Jupiter to orbit the Sun! Think of the extra money you’ll earn when you are finished!
Turn a $1 into a $1.04. That’s right, in one short year, you can earn up to four percent on your money, while you watch inflation eat away almost all of your profits! Tell your friends.
It’s true, no one would buy books with titles that suggest that good things take time, but isn’t that the way it really is? Wouldn’t it be nice, for a change, to have someone tell you the truth about what it takes to accomplish things?
Just one more … a special offer for Philadelphia sports fans, Win a Championship in Only 23 Years. Painstakingly build up and tear down a franchise while win-starved fans pay through the nose. Nobody would buy that book, but they will pay to watch you write it. The sad part is, it isn’t finished yet, and we are adding chapters every day.
For the record, the Eagles won in 1960, the Flyers won in 1976, the Phillies won in 1980 and the Sixers won our last championship in 1983. In between, we have heard a lot of promises, and even an ill-conceived ad campaign from the 76ers – We Owe You One – that actually took two years to fulfill. The fans keep paying for tickets, and for the most part, the beginning of every season brings fresh hope and the end brings broken hearts.
Come to Philadelphia – feel our pain. If you do decide to come, let me know and I’ll show you the quickest way to get around the city.