Don’t Confuse Easiness with Simplicity

Merriam-Webster, 2019 ed. Horrifying: Your daughter behind the wheel someday.

I took care of a patient once who didn’t know what pills he was taking. Let’s be honest, this happens almost daily. In the medical profession we are aghast that patients don’t know this very important easy simple one thing – what medications they are taking. It is so important to their health. I asked him, “What medications do you take?” He said, “All of them.” I started chuckling and caught myself. On the one hand, he may have been making a funny joke: he took so many medications that he was probably on all of them. On the other hand, he might have been earnest, telling me that he might not know the names, but he takes everything he was prescribed.

Taking a bunch of pills isn’t hard. Grab a handful, toss ‘em back with a water chaser, then swallow hard. Repeat as needed. As physicians we can easily think that people aren’t taking their health seriously. You see, taking pills is easy, but we are confusing easiness with simplicity. In fact, taking the right pills at the right time in the right way is very complex. They might be taken once a day or three times a day, they might be taken with a meal or between meals, they might be put in the mouth, crushed, or shoved in any number of other orifices best left out of a polite blog. There have been entire companies built to solve this pill-taking complexity problem. (not an endorsement)

Things can also be simple, but difficult. I feel this every time I step into the gym. Pushing that 180lb set of weights up and down off the chest eight times is the very definition of simplicity. Up. Then down. No offense, body builders. If you’re angry about that, it’s because you just confused simplicity with easiness. Pumping that iron is very hard. I’m proud of you for doing it for the rest of us.

Still don’t believe me? Here is another example: Something is easy but complex. Driving a car comes to mind. As every parent knows, driving a car is easy. Too easy. Two or three pedals and a steering wheel and you are well on your way to hitting that lamp post. Easy, but oh so complex. The driver needs to be thinking about the speed of the vehicle, the speed limit, the other cars in all directions, the cars that aren’t seen behind the corner, listening to cues, watching for stop lights and myriad other signs (all while eating that bagel and texting on the cell phone). Any wonder why almost 40,000 people in the U.S. die per year on the roads and many of them show up in my ER? Many of them confused easiness with simplicity, and thought they could cram that cream filled doughnut into their mouth while posting a photo of it on Instagram.

And That Brings Us to Real Estate

A lot of people looking to invest their money turn to Real Estate. I’m very happy about that. But a lot of them will start a new thing, like flipping houses, because others make it look simple. In reality, getting into real estate is easy. Deadly easy. If you have enough money you can buy any run-down house.  What you don’t realize is that planning a rehab, dealing with the city, utilities, contractors, takes time and money. Before you know it, you are under water and you have lost a bunch. You might write off Real Estate forever. I’m here to help you before that happens. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Equity