Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration.
Today’s challenge relies on a sound concept—using a tweet as inspiration—but to an unsound effect—the sampling of tweets provided does inspire me, but inspires me to undirected anger, hopeless frustration and profound sadness. I’m not sure why, you tell me.
Suggested reasons: chronic depression, overwork, stress [insert further psychiatric diagnoses here as applicable], also, sense of failure, purposelessness, hopelessness [feel free to insert more words from your thesaurus].
Or you can just tell me to shut the fuck up and deal with it because if I can afford to blog, it’s clear I’m privileged enough and have no right to rant about my supposedly miserable life. Your choice.
How Does the Universe Relate to Me?
It seems to be fashionable to be global rather than local. Perhaps being global is necessary for fulfilling your civil responsibility. My shocking opinion is that our foremost duty is to ourselves. It sounds even more alarming when you put it in the first person: my foremost duty is to myself. This is either simply an unpopular and uncivilised thing to think, or it’s what many people think but are scared to say. My reasoning is that if you’re a mess, you’re not likely to be of any use to anyone else. Fix yourself first and then look around to see where you can help.
Circling back to the tweet, my work is a more immediate, real and relevant threat than a star dying in the universe. I suspect if people looked to the stars less and minded their own business more, the world might have been a less horrendous living experience. I have no means of preventing a star from dying, provided that it would even be a desirable result, and as long as the star doesn’t decide to die by dropping on my head, it doesn’t concern me at present. What does concern me at present are bills to pay.
There Is Such a Thing as Too Much Education
Besides its plagiarising Socrates, I have no particular grudge against this tweet. Since it’s a tweet, it’s naturally simplified. What I lack in the tweet—and what I lack in general—is an acknowledgement that education doesn’t necessarily equal a better job and that there is such a thing as too much education. Speaking from my own experience, obviously.
I have a hypothesis which might be wild (or not, I wouldn’t know, but maybe you do?) but I can’t help suspecting that the more educated, the more unhappy you are. Education usually brings about awareness (I assume that’s the point of education anyway), and already George Orwell (and surely many before him) knew that Ignorance is bliss. Therefore, I reason that the less education and awareness you have, the more ignorant and the more happy you are.
As to the falsity of the education = good job equation, I wish young people were more often and more strongly cautioned against pursuing education without a plan. I chose to study what I loved, which was a terrible idea. So, while I certainly give the impression that I only care about myself, I’d be pleased if other young people took my experience as an example of how not to do it. I’m aware that you can’t convince the young that you know better, but perhaps if they knew your story, they would take it into account just a bit.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to disagree with me and show me that you have more sense (which I’m inclined to believe). Along with you, I hope that tomorrow’s prompt will inspire me to something lighthearted and funny.