As a proud older millennial, I have accepted that I won’t know all the latest lingo. Recently, I was introduced to a term that at first glance was inviting, so I ran to Google to learn more. Soft life (#softlife) was casually used by a girlfriend as we discussed life goals. In my search, Urban Dictionary describes soft life as a life of ease without requiring hard work, sacrifice, and unpleasantness.
My initial reaction was laughter, then confusion. I couldn’t believe there was a world where people didn’t work hard, sacrifice anything, or experience any unpleasantness. Who is living this type of life? My research continued and took me to Instagram. On that app, there are many images and videos showing what this life looks like. I noticed that all the videos and images I saw with this hashtag belonged to women except for two accounts that had couples in the video. The images showcased what Urban Dictionary described. A luxurious life, life without work, a life where you only allow things that bring you happiness. A life where one benefits off someone else’s hard work. That’s when I started to get angry, and if I’m being honest, worried.
Soft Life is Unrealistic and Dangerous
I’m worried about a world where everyone wants to experience luxury without putting in the work. As a mom of 4, I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where everything they do must be luxurious and require no work. Soft life is not only unrealistic, but it is also dangerous. How did we get here in our society? What was the catalyst that sparked this movement?
Could it be that the reason soft life came about is that for all our lifetime, women have had the short end of the stick? No matter how far back you want to go in history, women carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. I understand why women, a group of people who have been oppressed for so long, are looking for ways to experience a better life.
There is a fine line between wanting to live a luxurious life and being lazy though. Luxury is subjective, and I want every woman to experience luxury because we deserve it. However, as any woman with children, a marriage and a job will tell you, soft life in these roles are impossible. Having and taking care of children is the hardest job I’ve ever had to do. I’ve had to sacrifice my time, my body, and sleep. It’s not luxurious but it’s also the best job I’ve ever had.
My husband and I have been married for 13yrs. The work it takes to stay married and still like each other has been hard work for me. Before marriage, I spent years in therapy, and I continue to do hard work on myself to help my marriage thrive. In the 20+ years I’ve been working, I’ve experienced much unpleasantness. I haven’t had a soft life, but it has been an enriched life filled with people I love and some I don’t particularly like much.
I hope that soft life is just a fad and that like skinny jeans and diet culture, it will be canceled. I know that I’m likely an outlier and this might be controversial. I stand firm when I say soft life breeds laziness. Most people were not born with silver spoons and even if they were, someone had to work hard for that spoon to come about. There is a type of satisfaction that comes as a result of hard work. When I complete a project that required me to work hard, there’s a feeling of accomplishment associated with that.
Challenges Build Character
Although I’m not there yet, I imagine parents of adult children who are healthy and thriving feel a sense of pride. The sacrifices they made as parents bore fruit and they see that in their children and generations to come. Soft life breeds lack of character. When we experience challenges in life it builds our character. It shows us how strong and determined we are. I wouldn’t wish the pain of infertility on anyone. The years of dealing with IVF showed how well my husband and I work together to accomplish a goal. It brought us closer to God and it showed us who in our circle was consistent. When your life is easy, can you trust that the people in your circle are there just for the pleasantness? How much can you trust a person who only wants to be by your side when life is easy?
Instead of a soft life I’m going with a peaceful life. That is a campaign that aligns best with reality. Finding peace in life doesn’t mean life is easy. It just means that you prioritize taking care of your mental health. It means finding people who love you through the good and the bad. It means working hard to get the things you want. It means experiencing some unpleasantness to accomplish a greater good. So, I wish you and yours a peaceful life.