I’m not entirely sure how to go about expressing everything pulsing around in my head, but I think it comes down to this – we all want to matter. Ok, that’s an oversimplification. I’m not just talking about having someone care, or earning the approval or our peers, or just being successful. These can be part of the whole, but what I’m talking about is really far more insidious than that. Part and parcel with Young Person’s Immortality Syndrome (YPIS) is the idea, the KNOWING, that when we go out into the world, we will forever and irrevocably change it. It is through our actions that the world will become a better place. The hungry will be fed. The justice system overhauled. Music/Art/Theater forever changed by our vision. Everyone will finally have peace and probably even their choice of a puppy or a kitten. We have the ideas, the drive, the solution. We are not only immortal (lacking any sense of our own mortality), but omniscient and omnipotent.
Of course, then IT happens. IT being, of course, our stepping out into the world and discovering that it’s hard enough just getting through the average day without getting beaten about the head by any number of stupid and inane things. This is the ‘Ordinary,’ the ever-present living-of-life requirements that work us to our last nerve. Some rare few manage to get past this, incorporating the ordinary into their grand master plan to save (or to dominate) the world. Most (face it, “most” is the best word here) others do not. At some point there has to be an acknowledgement that we’re not super-heroes, we’re not brilliant visionaries, we’re not world leaders.
I suppose this is a concession of sorts, but I’ve been thinking that the trick in avoiding Thoreau’s life of quiet desperation over the recognition that we’ll never make our millions is somehow to make extraordinary the Ordinary. I think this is where the distinction between “important” and “relevant” really starts to take shape and matter. Importance is all about recognition, most often, recognition of those who are not necessarily part of your life. Relevance centers more on being something to those whose lives you can touch directly. It is far less ambitious, but ultimately more real.
(Ok, I promise I'll start making sense eventually...)
Just got word that my account was definitively freed by DOR. Three weeks… Not bad considering their track record. Sorry and thanks to everyone that listened to all my griping. (I meant it when I said that I have the most amazing friends. They're likely far better than I deserve.)
In other news, it turns out the mob I drove through last night may have started a bonfire on Comm Ave shortly after we managed to drive through the press. Our traverse was largely without incident – some yelling and a few folks drumming on the hood and roof – though it was pretty unnerving. Not the brightest thing I’ve done in recent memory, but I was operating on the assumption that the good feelings inspired by the Patriots’ first Superbowl win in history wouldn’t erupt into random acts of violence. (Yeah, I’m a naïve git.)