Sunday, April 02, 2006

Striving for excellence

I live my life investing myself in everything I choose to do, passionately. Yes, I've done things in the past "just because I had to" and barely scraped enough effort to remain "above average", but those aren't the things I chose to do, they were merely things I had to do. When I decide, through my own free will, to explore an area, I simply must do my best - and, since I've never really had to "support myself financially" in any of these areas yet, I mostly invest tons of effort into fields that won't really give me the same in return - unless you count the appreciation of friends and family as a profit.

But then I look around me, and I see tons of people making a living in areas where, the way I see it, they shouldn't. From a tragically mediocre television writer, to a graphic designer who "complains about her not being able to find a job, although she has a degree" - although I can produce more visually pleasing and objectively functional things than she can, and it's not even my field - to sad excuses for creators of any kind or NHS doctors who are obliged to give you 10 minutes of their time but don't invest a second of their thoughts to actually try and figure out what's wrong with you, but instead they remind you before you're able to say anything that the appointments are for no more than 10 minutes and if you need more time you'll have to book another one.

And yes, it's fair enough that these people aren't going to offer you their souls in return for your trust, but I just wonder how they can live with themselves... They are definitely within their rights to do no more than they're obliged to and hope for the best in return, but how can they dedicate their lives, that's the rest of the time they have here on earth to actually do something and be the best they can be, to some field or cause and not need to excel in it? How can they be so oblivious to anything that could be seen as constructive criticism and instead take it as an offense because it's not gratitude? How can they? I wonder...

And it's not that I personally am better than anyone else, heck, I haven't changed the world in any way (yet), and I won't expect anyone to be infallible, but I want people to try to be, at least in the one or two fields they've acknowledged as their "areas of expertise". So no, next time you show me your crappily laid out fanzine and try to pass it off as a "magazine", or next time you show me your stupid home video and try to pass it off as an "amateur film" - or even when you show me the story you wrote because you had "an idea" and ask me for my opinion, I'll tell you the truth, not a sugar-coated version of it. I'll phrase it as nicely and inoffensively as I can, but I won't hide a single thought, a single "negative" comment. I won't tell you that "you suck", I'll just try to tell you that "I expect better", and how, and why, just in case it reaches the constructive side of your brain - even if I can tell from the way you asked me that all you wanted to hear is "hey, good job". Especially if I know I could do better myself, in your shoes or mine.

2 comments:

Chip Chief said...

that why i strive for mediocrity in all i do.

Bunny Dee said...

You strive for mediocrity? How so? I don't believe it needs real *effort* - unless you mean you strive to achieve "mediocrity, at least" - that is, nothing less than mediocrity...

Unless you mean you TRY not to apply any effort, because you're dissapointed by the fact that most people don't... Hmmm...