Lost and Found

We may share similar interests, and it could look as if everyone does the same thing, like a school of fish. However, we are unique, having our own beliefs and aspirations. That diversity is what builds the goal-achieving society we have today, accomplishing such tasks that weren’t presumed as possible when civilization was just sticks and stones. Despite this, self-worth shouldn’t be set aside by attempting to follow the steps of others.

The nature of the population sets a strict standard towards a set of actions, built upon whether or not a particular action is morally correct. Of course, morals are necessary, however, people tend to view others as the standard for how they’re supposed to act. Basing self-worth by comparison of other people prevents people from rising to their full potential.

Recently, I watched a video of this term as “mediocrity”, the state of being mediocre. In the video, mediocrity happens when the person thinks their “self-worth is tied directly to their performance” and that “any failure is proof they aren’t good enough.” This ties with how an individual sees and notices themselves, the situations around them, and the choices they can make. For example, Chihiro in the movie, Spirited Away, well-represented a character who didn’t fall into the trap of mediocrity. While the spirits of the bathhouse were essentially worshiping the character, No-Face, with food in return for gold, Chihiro dismissed the gold. She noticed that bathhouse spirits’ desires for the valuable gold stop her from achieving her more personal goals, saving Haku and saving her parents. 

Scene from the movie, Spirited Away

Failure, while I think does tell someone’s performance, it shouldn’t be a label after comparing oneself to a population. The poem, “The Raincoat”, by Ada Limón, tells a story about the love of a mother to her child. The mother has had to manage her child’s health with his spine, constantly taking him to therapies and appointments. She could have compared her child with others and given up, but she didn’t. She kept trying to grant her child a life free of health issues. The love between two people avoids the self-deprecating and competitive nature of the outside world.

As expressed, we are diverse in today’s modern world, thus following the general population comes with a cost of putting your self-worth and acceptance in the shadows. You may not call yourself a failure as much when you’re not comparing yourself to others, believing what others do is correct. This mindset can have a toll on mental health and limits people from achieving a successful life that they aspired to.

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