I try to make the posts on here about 98% funny when I’m writing them (which usually just consists of me chuckling the entire time while I mutter “this is pure gold” under my breath), but after a comment I heard that’s been swimming around my head all week, I decided I needed to take a walk on the serious side.
While going for my usual healthy lunch at the university (just kidding, it was a burger), I overheard a conversation between who I assume were two students. They were talking about what they wanted to do after graduation, and the topic of their friends who hadn’t gone onto pursue post-secondary education came up. “Ya, I have one friend who works at *non-descriptive fast-food place*, and he doesn’t want to do anything else. Like, that’ll be his life. Pathetic.”
Oh, pardon me?
I cringed for a moment. Not just because of what was said, but because I know far too many people that carry this mentality.
“But, Diane!”, you say, “aren’t you also in university? Doesn’t that show that you feel you couldn’t do much with your life without spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on a degree?”
While I am attending university, my motives for going back for more post-secondary education didn’t stem from a fear of “being pathetic.” It came from a place of knowing I had more to learn about life, and while I feel a lot of that will be taught during traveling and simply living life, I felt there were critical thinking skills and ways of looking at things I could learn at the university.
That being said, the reason the comment bothered me so much was the idea of somehow being better than another human being because you made a different choice in life. If there is one thing I feel indescribably grateful to have learned in my twenties, it is that money, and whatever means you have achieved to obtain it, truly do not buy happiness. We have heard this constantly since we were children, but for every time those words left someones lips, an advertisement displaying the need for a bigger house or a nicer car was thrust into our line of sight, left to grow and fester in our subconscious until we were determined that the things we surrounded ourselves with would surely bring us joy.
It is for this reason that I know I am not better than anyone else. And it’s for this same reason that I know you’re not better than anyone else. The school you went to, the place you were born, the car you drive, the house you live in, the job you hold, the things you have, the money you spend, the bed you sleep in, the food you eat…..
They truly don’t mean anything.
Sure, it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside when we achieve things. It gives purpose to a life that we all still have so many questions about. But when I turn the light off at night, I say a little thank you for each day, because I know the only important thing is that I lived in each and every moment, and that I appreciated every minute that I had that day.
We’re all here for the same reason, and as the 7 billion of us wander around this planet, it is so incredibly important to remember that not one of us is better than the rest.