Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The middle ground of all or nothing.


In some aspects of life, we behave like pavlovian dogs, programmed to react to what we see, hear and read instead of what we feel.  We have embraced a dangerous mindset of all or nothing.  Examples of all or nothing run the gamut from bankrupt sports teams, striking workers, eating disorders, failed marriages, to chapter 11 declarations and conform to the monopolistic tendencies of the masses.

If a team doesn’t make the playoffs in two and win the title in five, we write them off - if they make it, we support. If people do not experience the instant gratification of upward mobility they’re gone. We embrace all or nothing for two reasons.

Foremost we compare our situations to a fictitious standard created by a fictitious idealism. There is no standard of perfect. The perfect life for you isn’t one you read about, aspire to, compare with or wish for. It’s the one you live each day. If sports teams were perfect, games would be scoreless. If you earned double what you earn now, you would strive for double of what you earn then and if people were perfect, we would all be equals.

Second we are taught to think all or nothing. The emphasis on winning & earning, accumulating & taking can be seen, heard, read & inferred across daily multiple media sources. From the minute we watch a loonie tune cartoon, hear of a preposterous sports contract or learn of another strike, we jump on that roller coaster for the quick highs and drawn out lows. In reality, our subscription to all or nothing weekly provides an acute loss of perspective and a false sense of reality that both lead to disappointment.

When we embrace ‘all or nothing,’ we risk missing the something’s along the way. Life is a culmination of something’s gained through middle ground. The same middle ground the highlights were eventually born of. While not as glamorous as the small percentage of home run hitters it should be abundantly clear in today's economy that something is better than nothing.

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