Friday, March 22, 2013

Everybody's doing it. So what!

     Okay, here's a fact. Your life has a fixed number of heartbeats left. That's it. Now the human heart will on average beat 2.5 billion times during the course of a lifetime, but still, the point is: our time here is fixed. Period. No wishing or dreaming or hoping or denying or blanking out is going to void that fact. And if you're wise you'll embrace it.
     So how are you going to spend those heartbeats? Just recently two different friends told me they were going to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I said to the first friend: "It's about S&M, isn't it?" She said, "Yeah, it's 'Mommy Porn.'" I said, "Well, why are you going to read it then?" She said, "To see why everybody's talking about it." It was virtually the same thing with the second friend.
     What a waste. What a waste.
     And I'm a writer. But with all the great things to read out there why would anyone be reading "Mommy Porn"? (And with all the millions of people so thrilled about the book I realize the position I'm taking isn't going to be very popular but I don't care.)
     'But everybody's reading it!' people say. Well, if everybody was jumping off a bridge, would you? (Sound like a lemming at all?) If everybody was shooting heroin? If everybody was into bestiality?
     I didn't have an ideal childhood by any means, but I do remember one thing anyway. I would barrage my mother with requests to do this and that. Endlessly. And often I would back up my requests with the rationale that 'Brian's parents are letting him go.' Or whoever's parents or whatever kid was allowed to do something I wasn't.
     And my mother would say: "I don't care if every kid in the world gets to do it, you're not."
     I was never happy about getting that advice, but obviously it stuck with me, and whereas back then I had to follow it, now I'm glad to.
     I'm spending my heartbeats wisely. Is everybody doing something? So what! Let 'em! But it's the latest craze! It's the Macarena! It's Gangnam Style! It's Lindsay Lohan! Now there's nothing wrong with any of that stuff. But just to run with it pointlessly because everybody's doing it <shaking head>. You can do better than that.
     When there are minds and geniuses like Einstein and Hemingway and Leonardo da Vinci to explore, why would you settle for Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber or with your mind entertained by the trifles of video games or TV?
     Life is amazing. Reach for it. Embrace it. Drink from its depths, not its surface.
     Walk your own path. Walk alone if you have to, but don't waste a billionth of one second of your limited, fixed, very precious life while you're here. No matter what everybody or anybody is doing. You're bigger than that. You're better than that.

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