What do you surround yourself with? It may sound like an obvious question; some of you may even be looking around your room right now thinking about possessions and objects you keep near you as your first answer. But what do you really surround yourself with? Do you surround yourself with staleness? Do you surround yourself with gray? Do you surround yourself with things that make you realize life is worth it? It can be difficult to know the answers to these questions, but one thing is for certain: the average Westerner’s life is dominated by ugliness, vanity, numbness, and mediocrity.
Many things in this world have been ruined by modernity, but of course, many things have improved as well. Millions of people have been saved by medical advancements, the world has been fed, and the possibility of visiting distant planets is on the horizon. But what has happened to us humans in the process? As our modern world was born, the soul of Man died and was left destitute, craving what it has longed for throughout the thousands of years of humanity.
Politics is ugly, social media is vain, and our world is held together by plywood and concrete. Everywhere you look is a reminder of the delusions of grandeur of our modern sympathies. Our music, movies, and art are at their best nothing more than cheap caricatures of the majesty of the past – and at their worst, a clear degradation of the world that built us. The buildings we call luxury are glass and steel monstrosities that jut viciously out of the earth, serving as a constant visage and emblem of our Tower of Babel arrogance. Our faces at night are emblazoned with the glow of ourselves as our screens bounce our fake personas back at us. The people elected and appointed to guide our world are nothing more than insecure goblins who feed off of the pointlessness of the debate and who find their purpose through their own meretricious ambitions. Our cities and universities are steel boxes devoid of character with layouts akin to a daycare, where every vice can be satiated and mediocrity abounds. The forest is burned, and in its place comes a corporation’s chasm of emptiness, familiarity, and bland. Great thinking and writing and debate is replaced with the mundane and easy musings of lesser men. The outer world we experience ends up defining our lives and making us who we are, and for most of us, the experience is boring, ugly, and almost identical to everyone else’s.
You have but one choice: break free from the mold. There is much in life to be thankful for, yet many of us abandon the truly special events in our lives for ease of comfort. A beautifully handwritten letter, a majestic animal, a symphony of great caliber, the landscape of the country of your forefathers at sunset, a laugh from your child, a cathedral of splendor, an introspection about the world with the woman you cherish, the word of God. There is some beauty in this world, but it is up to you to find it. No one will give you the experiences your soul aches for, you must go and get them yourself. Abandon the comfortable similarities of others and revere your individuality. Find happiness where others are too lazy to look. Honor God and become a steward of the world around you. Love firm and true the ones that love you back. And give your heart to Good things. Do not wade idly in the sea of this world, sweeping off to wherever the current takes you. Look around, breathe in its magnificence, and build your boat to voyage fiercely and bravely to the end of it all.