Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prove Yourself

Pioneer. Frontiersman. Adventurer.

Brave Warrior. Independent Wild Man.

Soldier who can take the shit in Iraq.

Construction Worker who can effortlessly jump girders 60 storeys high in the sky.

Marathon runner.

World Record breaker of records.

King of the Hill, Man of the Hour, Boxer with Guts of Steel.

Cyclist who can cross the continent with one pair of tires and a tireless pair of legs.

Ultimate Blog Cynic.

What is the difference between any of these?

When you have done it, and you prove to yourself that you have done it, what difference does it make on your deathbed?

Is it nobler to die with the celebrations of your peers, than without, and why is the death any more or less noble?

Is it nobler to live pursuing the celebrations of your peers? If not, why is the life any lesser?

We live in a culture where "proving yourself" is so pervasive and endemic that many people waste their lives proving themselves, and even more shockingly they pity others for wasting their lives because they rebel against this peer-pressure.

Chavs? Perhaps their quintessential feature is that they refuse to waste their lives "proving themselves". Are they any better or worse? Even those who claim they will not judge a chav on their lack of abilities and ambitions, nonetheless pity them as though they are sinners against the perpetual need that Thou Must Prove Thyself.

When did this commandment enter what was once a Christian culture?

Life does not have to prove itself. It either survives and reproduces, or it does not.

Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
Yet Man must Prove Himself?

So CERN. So Space Exploration. So Electronic Miniaturization. So Genetic Engineering. So Civil Engineering. So Architecture. So Opera.

Man is not superior to other men, or other forms of life by virtue of being able to "prove himself".

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