Complacency

I thought I knew what this word means, but dictionary.com tells me a little differently… 

Sidnote…It’s interesting how new vocabulary is processed.  I’ve been “studying” a couple of new words in the past few years.  Complacency is one of them.  Another one is idiom.  How I got through high school literature classes without really understanding idioms, I’ll never know.  But now, I’m constantly noticing phrases that I think qualify as idioms. 

The first time I encountered the word complacent, it was in a voiceover quote during the ending montage of an episode of One Tree Hill, spoken by the character of Nathan.

It’s been said that we just don’t recognize the significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. We grow complacent with ideas, or things or people and we take them for granted and it’s usually not until that thing is about to be taken away from you that you’ve realized how wrong you’ve been that you realized how much you need it, how much you love it.

For some reason, I thought complacent meant that you stay with what you have because it’s easy, because it’s more convenient to keep everything the same than to change.  Now that I read that actual quote again, I see that it matches the dictionary.com definition:

a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

It’s a subtle difference, between shades of meaning.  But I think that both the assumed definition and the correct definition fit what I’m experiencing.  It is easy to stay in the present situation.  There is no need to jump out and take a risk, because nothing is wrong.

The correct definition also fits.  I’m feeling secure and satisfied, because I take for granted the good things in my life.  That’s probably true for a lot of people.  The point here is, I don’t follow my philosophy of doing things well, because it’s not like I’m trying to get a good grade or make a good impression for people who could give me a job.  I have a job.  The problem is, even though I was never the girl who would argue for every point on a test, not having that motivation pushing me to do better…  It’s really testing my internal motivation.  “Why do something poorly when you can do it well?”  It makes me feel really good to do things well.  And the only reason to do something well is to have done your best on it, that’s enough of a reason.  But the evils of laziness and complacency make me forget that sometimes.

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