Who decided that the top of the mountain was the goal in climbing? I mean, I guess I understand the concept of why but thinking more abstractly, who decided what the rules were?
We are people, right? Does that mean we decide the rules? Not always. Most of the time the rules and goals are set by the mindset of the masses. Whoever is loudest or has the most connections sets the trends, makes those rules, and decides the goal.
Why are people so looked down on for going against the grain of the popular mindset?
You go to high school.
Okay - that's the law.
You go to college.
I mean, I guess.
You borrow tens of thousands of dollars from the government and even private banks to go to college.
Well, I don't really want to do that.
Well, you have to or you won't get a good job.
Because education shows you how things are done and how to do them right.
Okay, I mean, I get that. But what if that isn't for me? What if I don't thrive from that and instead of learning and growing, you are just creating bad habits, watching your confidence tank, and thousands of dollars go in the toilet.
Well then go work a minimum wage job.
You get a job. Or not.
Okay, I guess.
You work to save up money to buy a house but you still have to pay rent which is very expensive.
Well, I guess that's okay but won't it take me forever to save?
Yes, with the job you have from a lack of university education, yes.
You spend years saving.
You buy a house.
Awesome! My first house! But I spent all this money that I spent years saving and now I am locked into this and if anything ever goes wrong, I'm *******.
This looks like it will happen sooner rather than later with how cheap this house was.
Well, that's all I could afford.
Well, maybe you should get a better job.
Well, I can't because I don't have a degree.
You work until you are 70.
Oh yeah, I've had to give 10% of my salary to my 401k in order to pay for my future without working. But, inflation is a thing and now all that planning puts me back at the amount I needed 40 years ago, not what things cost now.
You move out of your house and into a cheaper apartment.
Well, I guess this is all I can afford at this point.
You live out the rest of your days there and pass away.
What a life right? Sounds like a book I would read - NOT.
Give or take a few privileges and/or road blocks some people may have, this is pretty much it. Even if you pay for the college education, you still don't have much of an advantage. You pay off years and years of college debt - so unless you make 6 figures, that will take you until you're 70. This means you will likely get your house much later and also just be stuck in the same ending.
Why is this the path we are 'supposed' to take? Who decided this?
Every day that we get up, WE decide our actions that day. WE determine our own future - not the societal mindset.
Sure there is more friction going against the grain. It's hard. But is it harder than living a life that doesn't bring you fulfillment?
Think of mountain climbing. The goal is to get to the top right? Wrong. The goal is decided by each climber. If you want to go to the top, great. If you don't, also great. Each climber has a different way of getting where you want to go - some take an incline (upper class, money, prestige), some people pay a guide (university education), some people drive (start your own business), some depend on others to carry them (disabled, poor), some are the ones who carry others (volunteers, charity, servants). No specific way is wrong and no specific goal is wrong. If your goal is the top, then to the top you shall go. Your path may have different pitfalls, you might go a different speed, you might die before you make it to the top; but some people don't even go to the top. Some people take their time.
My goal isn't the top. I want to live for the views as I climb, whether clouded by blankets of green or the most crystal clear blue sky meets the horizon. I want to find beauty in the little things around me, not just rush to the top because its the option chosen by many. I want every hammock tree spot, every waterfall creek pool, every season change from a soft layer of snow to the sloshy mud underfoot, every critter discovery, every art-inspired shot. I want to settle in a place that other might just rush by but only settle for a little while - until I want a new view.
People say that the best view is the one from the top where you can see it all - but I disagree. The best view is the many you will see along the way - the little details on each tree, each rock, or on the ground. From the very top, you don't see the detail - you see the bigger picture. I'm sure the picture is great, but rather than buy the print, I would prefer to do the puzzle - that would be far more fulfilling for me.