It’s up to you to push back. To expect more. To expect better.
It’s easy to pander. To give up. To cave in. To do what’s expected. To give the people what they want.
True, there may be a wisdom available in crowds, in the collectivized base of knowledge that can extend problem-solving and innovation into an expanse beyond the tyranny of isolated expertise. But, there is also a madness; an impressionability that is maddened and maddening. There is fickleness, and volatility, and caprice. Crowds are susceptible to the frenzied delusions of mania and misconstrual.
The crowd is capable of much, but “the crowd,” Kierkegaard says, “is untruth”, especially when it comes to the truth of you, the truth of who you are. You alone are responsible for your own invention and intervention. It is your duty to come alive, to experience your own becoming, to learn “more about what’s inside you”, writes Kurt Vonnegut, and to make “your soul grow”.
Endeavoring to do so is not always easy. It will require commitment, courage, and resolve. It will not always please or appease others. But, as Seth Godin says “[we] have to embrace the cost of…focusing on what [we] want to promote” and be willing to pay “the price to do so,” realizing that “culture is almost always improved not by what the masses want tomorrow, but by what a small and dedicated group of people are willing to commit to for the long run.”
Realize the bigness of small things. Embrace humaneness of your scale. Try. Think. Learn. Change. Grow. Make things you love. “Artistic excellence”, Maria Popova says, lies not in running oneself into the ground on this clattering hamster wheel of public approval, but in continually and quietly ascending one’s own private ladder of creative development.” Do the the work you want to do, and then keep doing it; again and again and again and again.
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