At the moment, I currently find myself filling a second-rate study guide for my Civics class. Question-made statements with a lack of critical thinking are what bore me the most. Although I must admit my classmates are grateful and delighted with these robotic questions in which they can quickly provide mechanical answers to. These answers are basically paraphrases from our so-called 11th grade civics textbook. I look at my similar age-range surroundings and introspect, and find a missing spark in each one’s desire to achieve. When have young vivid adolescents turned into worn middle-aged women maintained by the hardships of their husbands in business suits? When have these become a mirror-image of Bonnie Grape in Peter Hedge’s novel (1991)? When did mediocrity fulfilled the lives of such capable people? Some would perhaps blame it on Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, while some would even go further back and blame it on Charles Babbage. Nonetheless, the origin of this misfortunate new cultural phenomenon that emerged by the beginning of the twenty-first century is further beyond my reach and current knowledge of early adulthood psychology. It is just shocking to find such qualified youngsters misguided towards the practice of their capabilities.
Most humans are metaphorically convex in structure. We bulge outwards to hide our true self; this is mainly to escape vulnerability. However, within the inside of our outward curve, we find the incomparable paragon of our true-self; treasures that include our feelings, our knowledge and our aptitudes. Every youngster has potential. When referring to adolescents as behaving mediocrely, it is not because they do not have abilities, but rather because they do not take advantage of such. When potential meets with motivation, one is automatically driven into the road of self-achievement, the one less traveled by. Therefore, it is not that there is missing potential, but missing motivation. Yet, how can one expect someone to be motivated, when their potential has not yet been put to use?
A schematic behavior is perhaps the best way to describe it. As children, we discover our hobbies, what we enjoy, and what we are good at. Thus, our mothers signed us up in afternoon classes, (in my society) were the activities that we enjoyed could and would be practiced. Dancing was a boundless passion of mine. Hence, my mother signed me up at a ballet academy at the age of three. As I narrowed and mold my hobby, I discovered that it was not dancing that was my passion, but rather hip-hop dancing. At the age of ten, I quit my ballet lessons, and submitted myself into the more urban world of hip-hop, one that I very much desired to be a part of. It is okay to quit one activity that has required time to develop when it will not contribute to your overall happiness. Additionally, throughout my hip-hop classes I advanced from level to level. This type of dancing was something I became truly fanatical of. Nonetheless, by the age of fifteen, I entered high school, and quit hip-hop. Gratefully, I can say I discovered one of my capabilities early in life, yet I put an end to it. Moreover, I am not the only person that during their adolescence have quit something they truly enjoyed to pursue a life of normativity.
My case is just one type of example were an individual’s capabilities are not being achieved to their fullest. Yet there are those that have not yet discovered their skills, and still conform to this oblivious way of living. There are those that are satisfied with simply “going out at night”, “hanging out with friends,” “watching series,” “eating,” and “sleeping.” There are those that lack any aspiration, and there are those that have far too many, and preform far too little.
Furthermore, when I was little, I stapled various blank pages together and wrote short stories in them. As I grew up, I stopped writing out of mere vagrancy. My life resembled world-weariness in all means. In my quest for a major in college, I recently discovered my inclination towards the Liberal Arts Studies, however, I knew that if I wanted to study a major, categorized within the Liberal Arts, I had to read and write more. My mistake was in the belief that if I wanted to write, it had to be either short stories or novels. After reading Henry David Thoreau’s essay of Civil Disobedience, in which he reflects upon the citizens of America, I realized that the options for writing are limitless. Therefore, I began reflecting towards my surroundings and myself. I discovered my true passion and capability, writing.
For the past two years, I have felt a thirst to do something out of the average in my life, approaching writing as a solution. Nevertheless, it is upsetting to perceive how this “thirst” is not felt by most people my age. I am currently struggling to get out of this worn yellow wood road of normality, but not everybody is.
Hence, dear reader, if you are one of those that is already practicing something they love, and are encouraged by it, congratulations, I admire you. However, if you are one of those that are unaware of their potential and capacities, I encourage you to search for them, exploit them, and squeeze their essence. This will drive you to a life of unique satisfaction. A man is not at once complete until it has provided the world with something singular to give.