Carpe Diem

by Eman

John William Waterhouse

I was trying to think of something smart to say, something wise and meaningful that would leave you all in awe.
And then I thought, well if I have to think so hard about something smart to say then I’m really not that smart am I? Smart people don’t fish around for intelligent things to say, they just open their mouths (or in my case, their keyboards) and wisdom pours.
And then I thought, why am I referring to smart people as a collective? Like they’re one big homogeneous blob of IQs and tea (tea is such a smart people drink; I drink coffee). Like there are these standards that one must meet before they can add smart as a suffix to their name. Eman, Smart Person.

So what makes us so different from that shapeless, undefined blob that is a Smart Person? Has the human race deteriorated so severely that we no longer produce Mozarts and Tchaikovskys (Tchaikovskies?)? Is the notion of intelligence so convoluted that our modern minds can no longer comprehend it?
Or maybe it’s not us, it’s our environment. Perhaps all this pop culture is tainting our minds, the media is dumbing us down and as a result of that our collective IQs have dropped ten points. Perhaps it’s the movies and TV shows and the 140 characters that have made us so used to thinking in easy bite sized chunks.

I don’t think so at all.

Humans are such complex creatures that I won’t pretend to be able to understand them at all, but I believe in the human race. I’m not trying to spew out a bunch of inspirational, Hallmark movie bullshit on you, I’m being serious.

The only thing that makes us different from those good ol’ thinkers, writers and musicians of yesteryear is that we don’t believe. We’ve glorified those people to a point of godliness that whatever we do now will never amount. And while they were certainly characters to be revered and respected, they were hardly superhuman. They were people like us that had to deal with all the mundane tasks we deal with and more. Do you think Da Vinci didn’t have his heart broken? Do you think Shakespeare didn’t deal with insecurities about his sexual orientation (hah!)? They failed and they cried and they got their fair share of mud on their faces. Many, if not most, of them died penniless and dishonored. People haven’t changed, it’s our mindset that has changed. We no longer work for something that is greater than us, our compasses have gone awry and we’ve lost our purpose. We’re used to speed, getting what we want now. We want glory but we can’t wait for it. Life is fickle, it is both our friend and foe and so what we must set our minds to, like the greats have before us, is after life. And I put that space between after and life for a reason. I’m not referring to the afterlife, the reincarnation of man and the final judgment. I am talking about the times after we are long gone. I am talking about being remembered for a reason and having chapters written about us in the history books. Conquering life is easy, many faceless people have done it. It is conquering death that is the difficult task.

If anything our environment is both our biggest challenge and biggest asset. We can boast having what none have had before us; the Internet. All the information in the world at the click of a button.
Some may say TV shows and reality shows are polluting are minds, but I also disagree. While I have no idea why anyone would want to know what the Kardashian sisters are doing for lunch, what is on TV reflects the way society thinks. If watched with a critical eye and an open mind Supernatural and Prison Break can tell us a lot about ourselves as a society.
The challenges we face are nothing new, there was never a person in history that hasn’t had to deal with a challenge. We’re just going to have to rub some salt in it and fight on.

What I’m trying to say is that we underestimate ourselves greatly, it is almost like we are afraid to break the mold and allow ourselves to me mocked. Mockery is a small price to pay on the road to achieving greatness.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.