“It’s a series of mediocre occurrences that add up to more or less nothing.” This was my response to a question I was asked today. The question was simply “Do you have any bad days?” Since my reflexive response to “how are you doing” in the hospital where I volunteer is just fine/good et cetera, as it is for most people. The sentiment itself is unremarkable, even astonishingly common in American society; I’d venture to guess 95% of people feel the same exact way about their lives as I do about mine. But what is remarkable is my oddly emotional response to having to say it.
Aside from sheer anger I rarely feel any particular emotion for long periods of time, my personality is just a continuous sardonic, purely logical observance of everything that goes on around me. I am, by my own design, bereft of most human emotional response systems. My goal once upon a time was to eliminate impulsion from my thought process, since being impulsive is the easiest way to fall into a trap in a strategic setting; so now I don’t have that more or less. I’m able to step back and take a prudent look at more or less everything. While I occasionally feel anger it almost never perpetrates a foolish action on my part, just because of the built up resistance to impulsion.
The admittance of my own mediocrity as a spoken word was enough to create some amount of sadness or depression in my mind; since it’s easier to skirt around the concept than address it so directly. I don’t believe all human existence is futile as some might and as the nihilistic sentiment above may perpetrate. I simply believe that most, even the vast, overwhelming majority of human existence is futile, that a scarce handful of great men and women dictate the course of history and everyone else is an irrelevant speck, more or less. I also believe the last person to fit that description in full died 195 years ago.
However the ability to become such a great person is not unique, surely, and the sheer population of the world strongly implies that there are thousands of individuals with an equal capacity for thought as any great conqueror or philosopher of old. So what makes them different than those that came before? Why, luck of course. Luck, providence, divine intervention, whatever you want to call it, what’s most important in dictating a person’s future is the situation into which they’re born, and while the population of the world increases the number of candidates for greatness it also has led to a general promotion of mediocrity and reliance on predictability. A person who is hiring someone in a modern climate wants a candidate to do exactly what is expected of them with little or no variance, the person who does exactly what they are told with no glaring failures and no remarkable successes. That is the ideal candidate for a job. Do you feel that you are unremarkable, identical to every other soulless cog in society? Well, good for you because you are that ideal candidate. Unfortunately for me, I don’t feel that way.