Careful how you use that word, just. You can demean the obstacle, which can be good, and my efforts to get over it, which can be bad. You imply that it’s no big thing, that mountain that’s keeping me from my goal, or at least that it’s no big thing to you.

“I’m stuck on this decision I have to make in this story,” I say. “I don’t know if I should kill the villain or let him live.”

“It’s easy,” you might say, “just have him appear dead and then you can decide in the sequel.” You might imply the word duh. You might even say it.

Even if you’re right—even if you know a pass through the mountains or you have some excellent climbing skills—diminishing the scale of my challenge isn’t necessarily essential to solving my problem. Hell, it may not even be helpful at all. You don’t have to say, “I’ve climbed Everest, this is just the Rockies.” Even if you solve my problem (and maybe you haven’t because your immediate gut-check answer just doesn’t fill me with confidence that you’ve considered all the angles) you’ve also made me feel like a heel, a loser, or unfit for being troubled by it in the first place. Maybe I was looking forward to the accomplishment of scaling that mountain you just called a hill.

It may be simple or obvious to you. Not everything that’s simple or obvious to you is simple or obvious to me. Respect that others may be wrestling over a problem for good reasons, even if the answer seems simple to you. Simplicity and complication are sometimes a matter of position. Perspective matters.

It’s great that you’re on the side of the mountain with the elevator; that doesn’t shorten the trip on this side.