An ACT score. The size of a pair of jeans. The GPA recorded at the top of a report card. A reading on the scale. The capacity of the group of friends chosen to surround oneself with. The sum of a paycheck received every two weeks. A listing of likes on a social media post. The total points the all-star scores in a sports game. The amount of birthdays under one’s belt.
As both a senior in high school and member of a society motivated in both achieving and maintaining the “perfect image,” I am all too aware of the numbers we tend to use to define ourselves. These quantities range in nature regarding anything from intellectual abilities to physical appearances and popularity, and even encompass more serious issues, such as income. Yet, demonstrating a sole uniting factor is the truth that all fail to take into consideration the quality of the person living among these judgements.
Building off of this deliberation as well as signifying an underlying common theme, the entirety of these so-called vacant calculations focuses on the bestowing of happiness to another. Worse yet, it is nearly always done at the expense of the individual seeking this fulfillment. Think about it: hours upon hours dedicated to exercising to the point of obsession to achieve the “ideal figure,” weeknights spent rotting away in the recesses of a bedroom studying instead of making unforgettable memories with friends, maniacally checking one’s phone due to the influx of notifications relating to a personal entry on Facebook. Few can sanely argue that the aggregate of these occurrences act in the slightest in the increasing of one’s status in the joy department.
Truly, we all are victims, victims of the insatiable standards established by a contradictory culture demanding the seamless balance between polar opposites. Many advocate of a happy medium, though among today’s world and in numerous years past, such is all but nonexistent. There is no hope of achieving a medium among the distorted epitomes imprinted within our brains seemingly from birth, and attempting to do so will indisputably bring about feelings lacking any form reminiscent of happiness.
Essentially, our lives are a competition characterized by the striving to boast the best numbers. However, I challenge you to defy this practice, and encourage others to do so as well, for when you are old and grey, show me one person who is going to shakily point across the dining room of the nursing home and announce your pants’ width or your high school test results to the engaging residents. Expressed in this manner, such sounds ridiculous, and countless likely agree that this will almost assuredly cease to ever ensure as such declarations are not important.
So, why then do we spend the majority of our lives, in the best of cases, basing our worth on quantities proclaiming no profound value? Why do we make ourselves miserable in letting such get the best of us despite campaigners who preach against these happenings?
Unfortunately, I can provide no answers of any momentous sagacity, for I am merely but one of the proponents described above knowing of the necessity for change. Nonetheless, what I can offer is a voice, which I sincerely promise can execute just as much strength as the most highly acclaimed bodybuilder. Providing hope and proving just as powerful, so can you.
All in all, each and every one of us, special in ourselves, has the ability to change society’s detrimental ways of thinking and work toward making this world a better place by focusing solely on the inside and negating the proliferating mass of numbers people all too often become slaves to. In the words of an inspirational speaker I had the privilege of once acquainting with, “You matter,” and, building on top of that, so does your happiness devoid of any and all computations.
And so, I hearten you to relish in the decadency of the chocolate cake, the whole thing if you desire. Stay up until midnight conversing with that special person who is seemingly cut from the same grain rather than studying for that ever-looming exam. Separate yourself from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Cleanse your thought process of fixations associated with money. Maintain old bonds, and endeavor in the formation of new ones. Simply stated, forget the numbers. Life is such a wondrous opportunity; to live it to anyone’s standards but your own is the ultimate in miscalculating this privileged journey.