So, I made a snarky comment on this blog the other day. I generally subscribe to the policy of “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” before writing anything, but this one slipped past the filter. It wasn’t particularly kind, and it wasn’t particularly necessary.
Anyhow, WorldTrekker (Whoever they are, but I have a pretty good idea) left a comment calling me and this blog selfish and narcissistic. Which, given that the inherent nature of blogs is selfish and narcissistic, is fine. The whole points of blogs/FaceBook/Instagram/Twitter/Social Media is “Look at cool stuff I’m doing.”
And I, for one, don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Howard Thurman said:
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
My commenter, WorldTrekker, went on to ask why I didn’t do something to benefit humanity.
I think humanity is stuck in a rut of lacking inspiration to do big things because society tells us not to. We’re supposed to go to school, graduate from college, go to grad school or alternately start working jobs so that we can pay off the student debt that we’ve accumulated. We’re supposed to buy stuff with Best Buy credit cards and have the latest and greatest smart phone so that we can have a spiffy new keyboard. And we’re supposed to keep working to pay for all these things that we maybe don’t need.
A study once showed that in America, we’d rather work the same number of hours and get paid more than to keep our current salaries and work fewer hours. In Europe, the opposite was found.
A new study, highlighted over at Semi-Rad claimed that we get more joy from spending money on experiences rather than things. That one left me scratching my head, Why did we need a study to know that?
My goal: Show, through example, that our current system is flawed. We’re putting the emphasis on the wrong things. That maybe, we don’t have to subscribe to the norm.
I nearly went the path of finishing a PhD, of going into academia, teaching, research. I seriously thought about getting a teaching license and changing the world that way after grad school didn’t work out.
A lot of those views changed with a conversation with Mara Abbott a few years ago. She’d just returned to professional cycling with a laser-lock goal on winning the Olympics in 2016 in Rio. She’d contemplated quitting cycling and going back to school because she viewed racing as selfish and wasteful. But then she decided that if she could use cycling as a platform to spread awareness about things she cared about, then it could be used for the good of humanity.
I admired the idea. Plus, she said, there’s something amazing to trying to be the best in the world at something.
I look to the people who I admire, the people who I follow, and most of them don’t contribute to society in a traditional sense. But they make people question the norm. Why can’t I work for six months and then travel for six months like Gypsy by Trade. Why can’t I ride around the world on a Pugsley like Dirt Dot Kurt. Why can’t I find some record that hasn’t been broken/attempted since the 1950’s and ride to and climb all the 14’ers self supported like Justin Simoni.
I want my life to ask the questions: Why don’t we do what we want and find a way to make it work?
If your passion is teaching, teach. If you love telling stories, write. If you love putting things together, be an engineer. If you love cooking, become a chef. If medicine and healing fascinates you, go to med school.
A steady paycheck is the biggest obstacle in the way of a good adventure.
So is it completely egotistical to think I can change the world through my blog by talking about alternate ways to live life?
If I can convince even one person to take a trip and see something new, then I’ll take my self-centered and narcissistic lifestyle and call it good.
And for my snarky comment, it probably didn’t need to be said and I’m sorry for not editing it out.