Dave Rogers follows up with, among other words:
Some people spend much of their lives building and moving into bigger and supposedly better boxes. I like being comfortable. Though I must say, I've learned most of the important things in my life by being very uncomfortable.
I think there are two types of comfort that have little to do with each other. Those of us who have the choice of whether or not to be comfortable in our current states tend to think of comfort as a choice people make. In an obese nation, for example, we can talk about whether or not we really need to lose or gain weight, or whether we should just learn to accept whatever weight we currently have.
But I think that’s the exception to common life experience. Most people really don’t have that choice. They really have a "box" constraining them. They either gain weight by finding the "bigger box," or they die. Or maybe the "box" is a lack of health care, or a civil war, or maybe they’re caught up in human trafficking, and it’s literally a box. There’s no shortage of real problems people can’t choose whether or not to face.
In America, and much of the developed world, we have no shortage of imaginary problems we can choose whether or not to face. We can decide when our boat is big enough because we aren’t drowning. But even for many Americans, that’s not the case, and it would be insulting to tell someone drowning that they’re just imagining their problems. I think most constraints on freedom are real and important, and that’s what I mean when I say "seriously, there is a box."
Probably at some point, there’s an inverse connection between the imagined constraints and the real ones, when building a large boat requires taking that last scrap of wood from the drowning victims. But I don’t think this is the norm, and in most cases, the two types of constraints, chosen and forced, have little in common. It seems to me that I’m focusing on the latter and Dave is focusing on the former and we’re not so much disagreeing about this being an elephant as we are focusing on different parts of it.