Putting Back In the Pool

If you're somewhat smart (in the conventional sense of the word), there's a big trap of conformity. You're expected to tread one of a handful laid out paths.

To go to the same good school, chase the same career, live in the same area. And when someone bright doesn't walk a preset path, we say "what a waste!"

But you might wanna think about going to Paris and being a poet for a few years

—Steve Jobs

Having the same set of experiences as everyone else, we're gonna make the same connections (and feel dead). It can't be a coincidence that expression is linguistically opposite to depression. To be liked by many for a shell, or loved for your core by a few. To express or depress one's self. These are the choices we have.

If reality is what is, and 'realistic' everything in its proximity—who gets to decide what is near? Who's job is it to bring closer that which is far? At least some have got to be bold.

What do you think? Not your parents, not your neighbor, not your president. The potential of our future is threatened by the degree we let an external government replace our internal governing.

To fear selfhood is natural, but to lose it, we should fear more. An arm or leg is violent, losing ourselves is silent. Rediscovering ourselves, then, becomes a task by contrast. So we drown in the herd, perceiving selfhood too risky. Becoming a copy in quiet desperation.

He feels best, considers himself to be healthiest, can appear to others to be in the pink of condition, just when the illness is at its most critical.

—Søren Kierkegaard

Everyone is capable of hiding, but to be—unapologetically—only you can do. And one of the best feelings there is, is doing the whole poet-in-Paris thing, and then putting something back in the pool.