With Charts and graphs!
Karmakaiser’s tapestry called to mind a little meta thing I used to do called: “How special am I?” reminiscent of this classic demotivator. There’s a scale, you see, to measure ordinariness. On the right side of the scale, where everyone wants to be, is extraordinarily valuable, capped by indispensable, as in, history and civilization would cease without these individuals. On the left side of the scale, where most of us reside, is ordinary. The scale should be oriented horizontally, you see, so that your bourgeois sensibilities aren’t shocked; i.e., sure, pal, if you work hard enough, you can pass over to the right. I mean, if you were to be foolish enough as to orient the scale vertically, you’d realize you are where you were placed. And we wouldn’t want mass despair, now would we? The quotient of indignation present on social media would plummet to dangerous levels, and we would row ourselves merrily down the stream. So, here it is, horizontal, like we all will be, anyway:
The granularity is a little coarse, so let’s zoom in a bit to see what kind of person would reside to the right (my bias is Western Civilization).
What would it take to pass from the left to the right?
Oh, right. That’s unfortunate. But what is the relationship that gets what’s going on on one side to the other somehow? Oh, I don’t know: osmosis, I guess. The point is that we, the ordinary, have our thing to do, and it does an individual good to embrace one’s mediocrity so that he can get his thing done in a way that satisfies oneself and contributes to the pleasure of the ordinary around us. One could argue that history might exhibit a tendency toward civilization producing a big prosperous society when the ordinary are left alone.* When the ordinary presume to stratify, creating elite privileged classes, well, poverty quickly pursues that society into the ground (“quickly” being a relative term, depending on where you are in history).
I notice that the more I insulate myself from the world, the further to the right I find myself. As soon as I emerge from my cave, I fly leftwards. Alas.
[*If I knew how to obfuscate further, I would have done it here.]