Convenience - noun (Google)
- the state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty. "the museum has a cafeteria for your convenience" (Google search)
- allowing you to do something easily or without trouble
- located in a place that is nearby and easy to get to
- giving you a reason to do something that you want to do
Here is the reason I have been struggling with these words. Basically, the idea of convenience is looked upon as a positive thing, but I am learning more and more that convenience should be seen with some trepidation; if it is convenient, there is likely to be a cost.
flickr photo by Carol Green http://flickr.com/photos/carol_green/3530943331 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license
Examples of the use or idea of convenience are everywhere in our modern lives: owning a motorized vehicle, fast food, and, of course, convenience stores. But what are their costs? Driving a car gets you from A to B quickly, but you are more likely to become unfit, pollute the air, and miss the benefits of seeing things slowly. And this says nothing of traffic. Fast food is convenient, but again, at what cost. Nutrition and cooking skills are just two things that come to mind. And finally, convenience stores - take a look at what they house and, if they are open 24 hours, what about the store's employees?
My thinking is that we need to re-evaluate the meaning of the word convenience. If something is easy or 'without trouble', is that always a positive thing? Unless there is a symbiotic relationship, we should be very skeptical about something being convenient.
What are your thoughts on the idea of convenience? Is convenience just a product, or a goal, of society to make things easier? Do we need to balance those things that are convenient with those that we need to put some effort or work towards? Can you think of some other examples of a misleading convenience? Or, conversely, where does convenience really deliver a positive result?