“A whole gender? That doesn’t seem trivial at all!” Hey, arbitrary person. First of all, thanks for reading this. Really means a lot. Second of all, prepare to be amazed. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I think I’m ready to try to dehumanize half of the world’s population. If you feel like an insentient styrofoam peanut after reading this, good because I will too. Let’s be friends.
DISCLAIMER: Many male trivialities are also applicable to non-males. Be fair.
ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: This post contains partially hurtful gender stereotypes. Be fair, still.
Let’s say I live 80 years, from 1989 to 2069 (hehe). There were about 3 billion men on the planet when I was born, and about 65 million born each year until the year I die, for a grand total of 8.25 billion bros that will exist during my lifetime. You meet 100,000 people during the course of your life (sounds high, but it works out to around 3 people per day). I will never meet 99.999% of the men that will walk this Earth while I’m alive, I won’t understand how they will impact me, and I’ll rarely give them any thought. Extend that further and think about the possibility of life on other planets, or in other universes. I’m a 20-something social media fan, so I’m about 1000% saturated with ignorance, self-righteousness, and delusion, but even *I* can’t fathom how unimportant everything I do will ever be in the midst of all that vastness. Sorry, guys named Braden, it doesn’t matter if you leave the sticker on your #swag hat.
Okay, okay, maybe that’s unfair. After all, I can’t use “Well, the universe is huge” as an excuse for not wearing a tie to an interview. The importance of what we do is relative to the size of the context (that #swag hat might get you laid in high school, but in no way affects the outcome of our planet, etc.). But still, think about it. Think about how important you are, how important you want to be, how important you think you are to others, and how important your life has been so far. THEN THINK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE ACTUALLY A SPECK OF DUST.
But why that? Doesn’t the feeling of being microscopic apply to female humans, too? Sure, ya jackwagon, but which gender values power and reputation more? Every great general led specks of dust into battle against different specks of dust. Every great scientist discovered something that made life as a common speck of dust a little easier. Every great architect designed a speck of dust slightly bigger than himself. Every great musician gave specks of dust something to talk about while they sipped on specks of dust at the Speck of Dust Cafe. Every great painter made a speck of dust out of different colored specks of dust. Every great prophet was charismatic enough to make other specks of dust follow him. Every great humanitarian made sure that each speck of dust was treated the same. To us, those are real people accomplishing extraordinary things, but when you combine ALL of that, over the course of our ENTIRE human history, you get a large speck of dust.
TL;DR version: We’re important to those we know, we’re barely important on earth, and earth is barely important. http://htwins.net/scale2/
But wait! It’s certainly possible to find some triviality here on earth. After all, I’m not writing this from Alpha Centauri. Naturally, many men will live their lives without doing much aside from using one life’s worth of resources. Some will accomplish wonderful things. But whatever they do, it’s almost entirely driven by social stigma. Even today, where equality is stressed (and sometimes forced to uncomfortable levels), we still have gender roles, as we always have. To some extent, men have assumed the role of provider (hunter) as women assume the role of caretaker (gatherer).
Somewhere along the line, the hunters were attached an insensitive label, and the gatherers a sensitive label. Probably because you need to be stone-hearted to kill and provide, and kind-hearted to care for a family. What gets lost (much like the point of this post, probably), is that HUMANS need to be BOTH stone/kind-hearted to manage a successful life. But the stigma suppresses much of the kind-hearted instincts and deeper sentiments of men. And as soon as they break the stigma, they get corrected (getting called a faggot in middle school is a good way to keep feelings from surfacing again). Emotional suppression and failure to live up to another’s standards are a recipe for depression, and that’s made evident by the fact that men are 3 times more likely to end their own life. It doesn’t happen when men go crazy, it happens when men feel trivial.
So how do we keep that from happening? Like I said before, we’re mired in a culture of forced equality, and that idea exists outside of gender equality, too. Our educational system and labor forces are all regimented like the military. Everyone would work, learn, and play differently if we let them, but we don’t. Ironically, having a higher governing power dictate your progression through life is a great way to feel lost. If we could individualize more aspects of education and work, and do our best to remove gender stigmas at a young age, it might take some of the triviality out of living the lives we’re told to live.
Thus, the pursuit of trivia continues.