The Washington Post


Once I was having an argument. I was a teenager at the time. The argument was with my older brother. When we were kids, he would win every fight we ever had. When we were teenagers he won all the arguments. He was smart and a good verbal tactician and was three-plus years older than me, so I was at multiple disadvantages, but there you go, life as a younger sibling.

On this one memorable (obviously) day, he was trying to talk me into some activity that I was too lazy to feel like doing. After his blizzard of reasons, I pulled out my trump card. I said I just wasn’t comfortable with the idea. I didn’t see how he could really argue with that. Wrong I was, as always, with him.

“COMFORT??” he hurled at me? “Oh, COMFORT is now your ultimate standard? How shallow is THAT?” Sure I knew a tactic when I saw one. This brother was not a new phenomenon to me. His approach was simple in argument. Never give up. No reason I came up with was EVER a good reason. Yet he had me here. What kind of a standard WAS comfort anyway? Got me thinking.

And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. And now I’ll put it to you, in turn. How much of your energy is devoted to comfort seeking? And is that really the end you wish to pursue with such diligence? Just asking.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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