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Are you too comfortable?


A close friend of mine has been going to “Fight Club” in the city center.

The real deal – lots of migrant workers in a dimly-lit alleyway betting their paychecks on bareknuckle fights.

If you watch, you compete. Those are the rules. (Apparently they didn’t get the memo to not talk about Fight Club.)

Unlike many of the fighters, this friend lives a comfortable life – good job, company car, summer house. He has nothing to gain from a few hundred dollars payout. So, after one of his fights, we met at a café to talk. The bridge of his nose was bluish-green, and he walked with a heavy limp.

“Why?” I said.

“I’ve lost something,” he said, fiddling with the napkin holder. “It’s like I’m drowning in all this comfort. These others guys – they show up on borrowed bikes and work at 6 a.m. the next day. They’re survivors. More than you and me, they are really living.”

As much as I wanted to dismiss my friend’s antics as a chauvinistic stunt, I couldn’t help but think maybe there was some truth in his words.

Have all our modern comforts made us less human? If so, are you OK with that trade-off? If not, what would you be willing to do to get it back?

I certainly won’t be slugging it out with strangers anytime soon (my track record with fighting is abysmal), I actually detest violence (unless directed at bikers hogging the road in their stupid one-piece spandex suits), but perhaps a few “extreme” actions are in order: rock climbing, a polar plunge, a marathon.

And you? What would you be willing to do to call yourself a survivor – and mean it?

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