Here’s a fun question: have you ever asked yourself if your parents really want you to excel in life?
What about your teachers, your friends, and your government – do you think they want you to excel?
As depressing as it might sound, odds are that none of them do.
I know, I know – this probably sounds like your average paranoid “the-man-wants-to-keep-us-in-line” conspiracy theory. But if you actually think about it, it makes perfect sense; the people around you don’t want you to excel – and you can’t even blame them for it.
Let’s take a look at your parents, for instance.
Your parents probably love you with all their heart and whatnot, but they don’t want you to excel. They don’t want you to be the best you can be, and make the very most out of your life. Instead, they want what every parent wants for their child; safety.
And safety does not go hand in hand with excellence.
In fact, excellence is as far away from safety as you can get. Excellence involves taking risks, and risk means exposure to danger. It means potentially failing, losing everything, and ending up homeless. Or, worse yet, being unhappy!
No responsible parent would want that for their child.
Safety, on the other hand, means getting a good education and a stable job. It means following the tested path, obeying the norms of society, and settling down in a traditional relationship. It means doing what you’re supposed to do, fitting in, and avoiding those scary risks that might end up hurting you.
That’s what parents want for their child. Safety, not excellence.
In the same way, this is also what “the man” wants for you. Your teachers, your government, your employer. They don’t want you to excel, because that would mean more risk for them – risk of you failing; of you losing your job, becoming homeless, and ending up a burden on society.
Our society values security higher than anything else – and, as a consequence, your surroundings naturally push you away from risk-taking, and towards safety.
Your parents taught you the importance of reasonable, safe decisions. Your teachers taught you that you need a good education, a responsible lifestyle, and a stable income. Even your friends encourage you to stick to conventional choices, while discouraging you from taking the risks necessary to excel.
This is just how our society works. It’s not that your parents, your government, or your friends don’t want you to excel. It’s just that, in the eyes of the rest of the world, safety is a much better option than excellence.
Remember this the next time you seek advice or support from others. They might mean well – but in a society that values security above all else, their priority will be your safety, not your excellence.
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