Monday, August 3, 2009

Why?

This was my college application essay from last year that I came across. The ending is a little cheesy but I feel like most of what I said still applies to how I think now.

Our culture’s constant quest for intricate, but inconsequential details has stalled human progress. We find ourselves lost in a barrage of statistics, names, locations, events and ideas so that we simply lose sight of any deeper meaning to all elements of life. College feeds into this conspiracy of indoctrinating the masses with this pursuit of supposed knowledge. Only a select few look beyond the rush of trivial information from books, computers and television in an attempt to find the answer to ultimate question: Why?

Preachers and philosophers have corrupted that question. They have bastardized the word to hold only the question of our purpose as predetermined by God, Allah, or ourselves. Existence for sake of being is something we apparently cannot accept or allow. I am neither a preacher nor a philosopher, so I ask "why" not for our purpose in life, but for conditions, perceptions and answers to life and the ordinary. The answer to any inquiry is pointless without this awareness.

Society is expected never to ask "why?" Society’s structure goes unquestioned and untouched while it overlooks injustice, absurdities, and illogical reasoning. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist hippie, but the powers that be censor the controversial, repress the rebellious and manipulate the masses. The status quo stands steadily as a sacred, stubborn, and unstoppable cow rooted in apathy, nostalgia and self-interest. As generations age, they look behind rather than ahead. People cling to television reruns, decrepit nostalgia-based musicians, and the ways things were "back in the day." The cliché of how people fear change is completely true. The majority of us try to sustain normalcy and our subjective sense of sanity (however insane it may actually be) despite any drastic upheaval.

Tip sacred cows, even the ones you hold most sacred.

Yet, curiously, those who question the norm revolutionize and better the mundane lives of the majority. Those who make an impact on the world are those who transform it, not those who try to maintain the status quo. Consensual insanity should not determine reality. Innovators disprove and defy conventional wisdom. From Socrates to Malcolm X, endless numbers of individuals have altered human philosophies towards art, society, and truth. Their skepticism of the social equilibrium combined with their courage of their convictions opened up humankind to a better world.

Socrates was sentenced to death for corruption of minors because he taught them to question society. Your freedom of speech protects your ability to question today's order... use it responsibly and often.

Too easily, we surrender to mediocrity. We seem to aspire to it. We fall into lock step with uneventful schedules and 9-to-5 complacency without ever questioning why. We should refuse to accept the common idea that the purpose of college is finding a job to make money or a passage into "responsible adulthood." College should enlighten us in order to escape from the barriers of monotonous life. We should seek to push the frontiers of thought and art forward instead of declining into the nostalgic pitfalls created by our society. College can nurture our growth to push progress forward in a way that can shape the world. With nothing but thousands of dollars in tuition to lose and everything to gain, one has to ask "Why not?"