The Mental Drug of Mediocrity

by SC

I was strolling with my friend, Jacob, both of us eagerly awaiting the challenges and joys which would accompany our third year at university. The cold Autumn wind had began to taint the warm earthy buzz of Summer and all around me, joyful optimism was painted upon the faces of my fellow peers. I asked about Jacob’s trips to Papa New Guinea and what lessons he could take away from such a polarising experience.

“I learnt that… That being a good person and wanting to help people really means nothing, it means nothing if you are not currently engaged in helping others.” Over a month later, this phrase has still resonated deeply with me.

There have been many quotes which have expressed a similar opinion, but to hear it from a close friend with similar ideas and values really shifted my perspective. It is very easy to swallow¬†the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism” it is very easy for one to slip into a state of dull acceptance, “I’m a good person, I help people when I can.”

Except, when was the last time I had been involved in charity? It had been years since I gave up my precious time to help those facing difficult situations. How could I claim to be a good person if my existence didn’t positively change the lives and attitudes of my peer citizens? Values such as honesty, friendliness and acceptance are not traits or characteristics which should be celebrated, they are to be expected from any decent human being.

I write this to any one reading, do not be lulled into a mental state of mediocrity, good is never enough if better is possible. rhetoric can never be a substitute for action, the people who talk through their actions are the ones who will have a lasting legacy upon this world. People who dream with their eyes open are the ones whom history shall sing praises about. The call to action has been sounded and it has invited you to help others who share this beautiful planet with you.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
– Pericles