Hump Day Hmmm 3/26/08

Today’s Hump Day Hmm: take this issue—this idea of rating people according to how they fit or don’t fit some arbitrary ideal—and debate/discuss some angle of it. Make it general or make it personal—how it affects you, our culture, your kids, your morals…however you want to approach it.

Ya wanna talk arbitrary ideals? Welcome to Stepford.

I’ve only posted about Stepford once, but I was fairly objective about the whole thing. I never really got into my feelings on the matter, other than I thought Stepford was a little odd. It’s definitely an alternate universe, where people’s perceptions are very skewed.

But just beneath the surface, I always sense the tension. It’s more than “keeping up with the Joneses”. There are days where I feel like we’re all kids living some sort of fantasy of adulthood that never really existed.

The standard around here is like a glossy magazine. Things aren’t “just so”, they are perfect. And I? Am not.

I can’t live up to that ideal. Not that I haven’t tried, but it’s just too hard living up to someone else’s standards. I’ve only recently come to the realization that the only person I can truly please is myself. And I don’t mean this to be some sort of excuse to go into some sort of hedonistic pleasure hunt. What I mean is that each person is responsible for their own happiness. I can, theoretically, be doing everything “right”, but if some people around me are still unhappy or don’t like me, then there isn’t anything I can do about it. I can’t feel resentful about what others are thinking because there just isn’t enough time in the day. I have to create my own standard, and then do my best to live up to it.

Which can be hard to do. Sometimes I realize that I’m setting my standard on some unrealistic goal. Others times I may be selling myself short. I’m constantly re-evaluating myself and where I need to be. That’s why I started this blog in the first place; I needed a place to work through some of these things that was cheaper than therapy.

As I look at those that seem to have that perfection thing down, I always wonder if they are as happy as they seem to be. Do these same burdens trouble their souls? If they do, would those people be brave enough to admit it? Or is that against the standard, too?

I talk a good game, but is it all talk? There are times where I succumb to the pressure and start to feel really badly about myself and it’s hard to come out of that. Our society places so much emphasis on the outward that it’s hard to remember that your internal standard is so much more important. Keeping your perspective when all those around you have none can be pretty hard. But the price of not doing so is high.

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