Monday, December 8, 2008

Middle of the Pack

In our earlier years, it was probably quite common to hear that we could do anything and be anything that we wanted to be. That steaming string of optimism was stitched into our minds from the beginning, but slowly began to unravel with each waking year. Cynical as it may be, it is undeniable to admit that the majority of people are not special. In fact, it is possible to say that we are all almost invariably interchangeable.

For the most part of my life, I have considered myself average; I am not the smartest man alive, nor the dumbest. I don’t have the best body or the worst. I’m not ridiculously wealthy, nor am I destitute. It’s rather depressing and fairly nerve-wracking to see that most other people fit into this category as well. How can we even imagine the possibility of the philosophy of individualism when it’s all together true that everyone fits into some general statistic or percentage?

What’s worse is this is all coupled with the sheer mortality of life, the inescapability of death. Why put ourselves through the misery when we end up with nothing to show for it? What if we become great successes and generous do-gooders, what does it matter when we’ll end up in the same place as the rapists and murderers? It’s odd to just sit and reflect on the banal existence we all partake in, and how random and ineffectual it all is. So what if we find a cure for cancer? So what if we help orphans in Africa? We’ll die anyway.

We go through life living in the shadow of someone else; we know that as soon as we die, someone exactly like us will fill our place like some big, existential vending machine. Perhaps it’s sound advice to live for ourselves and be the bet we can be, but in the end how can we not look back and say “What was it all for?”    

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