Confession time! I was an avid reader when I was younger. I still am to a large extent, but my interests have diversified and I have friends that I spend time with now. Still, I read a lot when I was in elementary and junior high. I would read everything. I burned through children and teen series like Animorphs, Goosebumps, and even a few Babysitters’ Club. Around my freshman year of high school, Michael Crichton and John Grisham became my favorites. There was always one thing that irritated me in these books though. The kids. I don’t why they did this, (maybe because they didn’t know any young kids or something) but those two could not write believable kids. They were always too perfect and never died. The ones that boiled my blood the most were in Jurassic Park: The Lost World and The Witness. The adult characters couldn’t stop praising how clever and brave these little kids were. I, being about the same age or older, couldn’t help comparing myself to them. Now, you need to understand that I was a bit arrogant at this age. There were about seventy other freshmen, and I was at the top of the class. I thought myself pretty smart and was enraged that these fictional characters were getting all these kudos. “Just give me a chance,” I thought, “and I’ll show them up. I’ll even stop the bad guys way faster.” This was unbelievably arrogant of me, being jealous of fictional characters. On top of that, I had no real reason to feel this way. My world was fairly insulated, and I had managed to not realize that there were millions of people smarter and more talented than me.
So this finally brings me to my point. At some point in my life, I was told that for every person alive today, there are sixteen dead people in the past (which is a really stupid and impossible to accurately calculate statistic if you think about it. Still it gives us a starting point). Seeing as how there are over six billion people alive today, that’s a lot of people who have walked this planet. I’m not special. Everything I’m decent at, there’s at least one person who did it better and had other talents on top of that. Then you have to figure that there is a whole pile of people who didn’t have the same opportunities as I had, and, that given the chance, these people would exceed me as well. Short of the Day of Revelation coming upon us tomorrow, there is going to be a lot more people better than me as well.
I think we all need to square this fact with ourselves. We are not the best and probably won’t be so. Failing to realize this will only lead to disappointment. Once our egos are stripped away by this though, I believe we come to something better. We see our shared relationship with the rest of humanity, recognizing that we’re all in the same boat, and are able to see that their being and existence means as much as ours in the long run, hopefully leading to mutual respect and fair treatment.
I think this was a pretty good post.
2 years ago