Aspire to this

It’s something I hear people say a fair bit, and it’s something that’s popped up a couple of times in the last month or so from a few different sources: people comparing themselves and their achievements to celebrities, sportspeople, inventors or whatever else. I’d like to throw my bonce-warmer into the squared circle on this matter. Basically to say: shut up, and get a grip. So you’re whatever age you are and you haven’t done what Thomas Edison had done, you haven’t ran as fast as that Fast Man had by the time he was 24 nor had you been in as many newspapers as Smacky McDrunk had by the time s/he was 15. First: is that a fair comparison? No. Second: who actually cares? No one of genuine worth.

Talking less about celebrity types, or people who generally don’t matter, the reason names of inventors, great thinkers, authors or whatever pop up is because they’ve accomplished something exceptional. They are, in essence, the exception that proves the rule – the rule being that 99 per cent of people are normal, lead normal lives and generally just get on with it. You might make a difference some day; you might write the greatest story ever told or avert a world catastrophe using a rubber band attached to a squirrel. But does it matter if you don’t? No. You make differences in different, admittedly smaller, ways.

Celebrities? Sports people? Celebrated because they’re born into already-famous stock, they get their mimsies out in public, they have lots of money or because they can jump higher than you. If the fact you aren’t on a par with these people gets you down, there is probably something wrong with you. I would like to have their money if only for comfort’s sake, but the rest of it I can take or leave. It’s not something to get anything approaching worked up about, or even to care about in the slightest.

I’m not saying don’t try, though normally I do. I’m just saying get on with yourself and stop worrying about what some dead bastard, idiotic whore or school drop-out who could run fast and kick a ball have done. It’s a comparison you’re always gambling against and it’s another obnoxious offshoot of our bullshit culture’s obsession with being the best at everything. Embrace your mediocrity; something special might come from it. And if it doesn’t, does it really matter? No, because you don’t matter. BAM.

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