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“Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself, if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying, and human existence is indistinguishable from an absurd vegetation.” — Simone de Beauvoir


The status quo is its own realm. It is a quagmire composed of an infinitely perpetuating, yet silent desperation. It is a world of mediocrity: populated by the mediocre, for the mediocre, to fashion more mediocre. Residing there costs one their very future, a currency of infinite possibility.

The status quo is a plain of no growth. Its soil is so infertile that any seed planted there remains as such — merely a seed. It can never hope to flourish.

What I have come to understand, or more precisely, what I have observed regarding the status quo is that it does not feel dangerous. It feels good, safe, secure. How can it not, when the majority of our population reside there?

The status quo is the elephant in the room. It is a slow, potent poison that slowly trickles and wears you down. You seek refuge in it, not from it. It is salvation to some — a permanent resting place — who have embarked on the long journey of transcending just above his fellow man. Those who live beneath this standard seek to elevate towards this mediocrity, and upon accomplishing such, stop. What then occurs? Well, what do you get when every human is superman? You’re merely left with man. The lump of men who reside there, often come from below — stopping their advance when witnessing the mass of men who populate this realm. And what of those who seek to further elevate? In the words of José Ortega y Gasset: “The mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated.”

A city that lies atop the ocean is bound to sink. What else could possibly occur to a dreaming man who, in an environment populated by the mediocre, seeks to escape it? Eric Hoffer writes, “It has been often said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.” Men who seek to realize their ever-infinite potential are envied, consequently, they face the loneliness brought about by the stigmatization of the average man who seeks to see the world burn: If I can not have it, I will destroy it. What can a man do to save himself from this cancer that pervades his very being?

I write in my book A Modern Problem: A Collection of Poetry and Essays, “The precipitating quality of life and happiness among young adults today seems to sprout from a sort of acceptance that the surefire negative consequences of taking no action are better than the potential negative consequences of changing for the better.” I have observed, in my own life, at times, the subconscious thought that the cure for all my problems is more costly than the consequences of my ailment and so, in my comfort, I do not take the necessary measures to protect myself from the pervasive and sickening entity that the status quo is. It is a societal imperative to recognize that merely sustaining one’s way of life invariably leads to a degradation in its quality.

You ultimately have 2 choices: walk down that same road you’ve been gliding through all your life or trudge through the weed-ridden paths that only a few have seen the end of. In the words of Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

— The Road Not Taken



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