We’re Built to Carry a Heavy Load

By | January 8, 2023

[January 8, 2023]  My daughter’s 3rd-grade teacher invited me to attend a class and listen to how she taught about 20 students.  Thinking back many years, I thought about my time as a nine-year-old with Mrs. Odom’s 3rd-grade class and how I got into trouble for talking out of turn, and I was bored like so many of the boys were at the time.  I would misbehave out of boredom.

Sitting in the back of my daughter’s class, it was to be about 45 or 50 minutes long; her teacher had all the kids attempt to read.  Some of the kids who were “reading” couldn’t read.  It was like being back in Mrs. Odom’s class and me being a kid again.  And the clock on the wall was slowly going … tick … tick … tick.

I thought, “If I were in this classroom as a kid for a couple of days, I’d misbehave too.”  And that is no place to be.  You do not want to be in a place without challenges.  If you are an adult, you might even quit your job if there is no challenge.  These jobs eat away at your soul; they are all predictable, with no challenge or effort required.

Humans are built to carry a heavy load.  That is why we want a challenge.  It strengthens us and makes us strong; that is what we need because life is complicated, and evil lurks just around the corner to strike.  You have to be awake and sharp to avoid being pulled into the abyss and becoming corrupt so your family, community, or country is not corrupted.

You have to have your eyes open, your wit sharp, and your words ready.  So you have to be educated and know about your history.  You have to know how to think, to read, to write, to speak, and you have to know how to aim and hoist the troubles of the world upon your shoulders.

What is so remarkable about this message is that folks actually listen.  The world is tainted by tragedy and malevolence.  Although there is tragedy and evil at every level of existence, there is something about the human spirit that can thrive under precisely those conditions; if we allow that to occur.

As difficult as life is and imperfect and flawed we are, our ability to deal with tragedy and evil, we can transcend it, is undeniable.  Regardless of the greatest tragedies of life and the extraordinary evils humans can bring, a person has the nobility to set that right and defeat evil.

The antidote to the tragedies and lurking evils that can drive you down and destroy you is to take on precisely that responsibility and say, “Well, there’s plenty of work to be done, and it isn’t that terrible.”  We have it within us to decide that we will stand up against it and strive to make the world a better place despite my tragic position for the betterment of everything in front of me.

The consequence is that when we take on all that voluntarily, the catastrophe justifies itself in the nobility of our striving.  That is what it means to be an individual and carry a heavy load on your shoulders.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “We’re Built to Carry a Heavy Load

  1. Alexander H.

    Been a couple of weeks since I posted my thoughts but I just wanted to note that this article is one of the best in terms of advice. Lesson? CARRY A HEAVY LOAD and your life will be worth living.

  2. Dale Paul Fox

    Excellent article and one that was a bit unexpected. Carry a heavy load? Yep. That is what helps make us who we are and lets us live a life worthwhile.

  3. Good Dog

    If you don’t carry a heavy burden in life, then you will be at the end wondering how little you contributed to yourself, your family, community, and nation. You will be full of regrets regardless how rich or poor you may be. But you will always be poor ethically if you fail to pick up a load and carry it.

      1. Jo Ponte

        he he he, spot on!! Hoist that heavy rucksack and enjoy the pleasure of accomplishment. Only that way will you ever be who you can be, or, perhaps more than you ever thought you could be. Oh, yes, I’m repeating the words of Gen. Satterfield in his book “55 Rules for a Good Life”. So, get your self a copy now. Otherwise, just waste away.

      2. Forrest Gump

        Carry a heavy backpack, yep, got it. No argument there. Except for the lazy and infirm.

  4. Mother Picasso

    Thank you, Gen. Satterfield for a remarkable blog post. I love your website because I actually get something out of reading it every day. I don’t post a comment daily but I do read what you say. Best of luck. Keep up the great works you are doing.

  5. Karl J.

    I wonder how the class worked out with Gen. S and his daughter. Did he get bored? I think YES. And that is in itself a lesson.

  6. Colleen Ramirez

    Carry a heavy load, be responsible, develop your skills and competence, keep focused, and stay on the narrow path. That is the way to a good life and that is exactly the opposite of what we are told to do today. Gen. Satterfield gives us a breath of fresh air.

  7. Valkerie

    I think General Satterfield nailed it with this article, so I do appreciate it. But please note that these ideas run totally counter to the progressive (read that neo-Marxist) ideologies that the West is so in love with today. Remember to get his book, “55 Rules for a good Life” and you will read more in depth about how to carry a heavy load and be satisficed with your life.

    1. McStompie

      Right Valkerie. That is how we can live rightly. Happiness is not the goal because if it is then when we lose ‘happiness’ we resort to drugs and alcohol to sooth the soul. And that never works.

      1. H. M. Longstreet

        We are confused today between “power” and “competence”. So teachers teach that the world is based upon power so we should take away power from people, most men. But the world is based on competence and our teachers are taking away competence and men are now checking out of society. The results will be obvious.

  8. Greg NH

    ‘ Regardless of the greatest tragedies of life and the extraordinary evils humans can bring, a person has the nobility to set that right and defeat evil.’ so very true. Thank you Gen. S.

  9. Rides Alone

    Gen. Satterfield has once again given us some strong advice and very practical information about ourselves. I love it when people say they want to retire and live on a beach with a martini in their hands. Yeah right, that will last about one day and then they will go stir crazy. Carry a heavy load. That is the way of humans and our lives.

    1. Janna Faulkner

      ❤ and too many will think we’re nuts just for suggesting that people need a challenge, need responsibility, … instead of getting govt handouts. Getting handouts is the preferred way of living for our weak society. And the road eventually leads to ruin, to hate, to lashing out. That is why our school system teaches us to be weak, so that we become part of a violent society without controls.

  10. Pooch T.

    Exactly. And the snowflakes will run away crying at hearing about this.

    1. old warrior

      —- and they deserve a kick in the ass as they run away. I can just imagine them pissing their pants too as they are cowards to the core.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.