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The comparison and contrast essay I had to write was not promising excitement or joy, the horizon appeared dark and gloomy. The topic appeared so extremely vague that just picking a good subject was a challenge. Yet the essay had to be written, so bent by necessity I sat down, and decided to fight one problem at a time.

Once the first paragraph was under way, the future brightened somewhat. The problem of picking the subject went away, and the dark clouds were now hanging over the next issue in queue: bending the subject into a framework of comparison and contrast. The problem lay in that it was impossible to compare the attitude toward an essay before and after writing it without having written it first. Thus, the original intention of tackling problems sequentially no longer held.

The dilemma was clearly impossible to resolve by any kind of straightforward method. The approach, which worked to find a subject for the essay, still seemed viable. Since the dilemma could not be solved, it should have been left for later by pretending that it was already solved. The essay was already written. What an upstart notion compared to the humble beginnings! But the step-by-step approach could now be restored.

With the essay already written, the task does not appear so formidable. It seems that it could be done better by careful planning before beginning it, but the desire to lay the problem off until later is still in power. Simply no energy left for a better solution.

A wish to bring the work to perfection and the want to leave it as is - yet another dilemma arose. Perhaps it can be solved by assuming the current solution is perfect? Yet this time, this is not a way out. It's simply a way to hide the decision to flee. A change of perspective calls for a somewhat different method. If one can't escape a problem or solve it, one will say "I'll do it later." No sense in sacrificing the current, working setup.

Even the completion of such a monumental work did not change the fundamental attitude; it only changed the problems to be dealt with. Once no solution of a problem is in sight, the problem is to be disposed of, under the pretext of delaying having to deal with it. Even right now, I think: "I should really change my attitude towards life" and the thought sinks into oblivion in the land of "I'll do it tomorrow."

This essay is Copyright (C) 2000 Alexey Spiridonov. All rights reserved

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