I woke up this morning and immediately checked on some facebook stats (pitiful, I know). I read one where the person used their college degree as proof of their greatness. Another stat valued time spent with family but concluded it was time to get back to working towards “International Greatness.” The gears in my mind started working, and I realized that there are really only two types of people in this world:
Those who strive for mass greatness & Those who strive for comfortable normalcy.
As you know, I’m striving for mass greatness so my outlook on things is somewhat slanted. With that being said, I’m going to try to present this thought in the most non-biased way as possible.
There are silent feuds between these two groups; Each thinking the other failed in some way. The members of each group hold entirely different things sacred. They judge their successes on achievements the other side doesn’t value at all.
Group #1: “Strivers for Mass Greatness”-Those who see the unseen, view the impossible as easy with hard work, and want to innovate & create
VALUE: Life Lessons, Wisdom, Growth, Struggle, “The Journey,” Small achievements that serve as stepping stones to the bigger dream, Being with other visionaries, Being Known 4 their Craft, “Feel Target-Shoot-Readjust-Shoot again, etc…”
DEVALUE: Formal education as a means to achieve, College Degree, Staying within the Norm, Sameness, Consistency, Being Content, Walking a Paved Path
Group #2: “Strivers for Comfortable Normalcy”-Those who see proven successes as a means to provide them with a stable life where all needs are met, love abounds, and happiness seeps from every pore
VALUE: Clear cut paths-“Beginning, Middle, End”, College Degree, Lasting Friendships, The Traditional “American Dream,” Stability, Easily Identifiable Achievements, “See target-Aim-Shoot”
DEVALUE: Unplanned Change, Following Unconventional Paths, The Ways of the “Starving Artist,” The Unseen, Trial-by-Error, The thrill of the Unknown
As you can see, both groups value completely different things, yet value what the other group devalue. This causes unspoken tension and divide when the two groups compare life statistics. Group #1 thinks: How Dull & Group #2 thinks: Slacker.
Two stories about that:
#1-My mom hosted a dinner party. Her friends updated each other on what their kids were up to (college, weddings, work). Since I was at the table, my mom stayed silent. At the end of the discussion, a woman holds my hand and says, “Don’t worry, you have your book.” After the party my mom & I had a good laugh. We don’t feel bad about me still being in school. I’ve had life.
I have a business, so a degree doesn’t matter to me but education does. That woman felt the need to comfort me, on something I am completely comfortable with. Just an example of the clash.
#2-I attended the wedding of a friend from high school. Two of her bridesmaids have been thick as thieves from the 6th grade-college graduation. I don’t talk to them much but I’ve been told they pretty much stick to being close friends with the same group from school. At the wedding I was torn on my thoughts about that. Part of me looked down on them for not expanding their horizons as many of the other wedding guests from high school had done. I felt pity that they never separated long enough to experience life with new people, new thoughts, new outlooks, new adventures. The other part of me was overjoyed that they had become lifelong friends. How nice to have gone through over half of your life with the companionship of your dearest buddy. I’ve concluded that it’s not the path I would have chosen, but if they are happy then so am I.
In which category do you belong? Neither is truly better than the other, just different. Have you been looked down on because of your group membership? More importantly, have you looked down on others?…..