“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
– Oscar Wilde
For those who have ever tried blogging in any form, you probably remember the moment when you had to chose your title.
You probably had a brilliant idea, but when you typed it in discovered, to your horror, that someone else had used it and not even posted anything or it is blocked for users. In my case the perfect name was The Road Goes Ever On which referred to J.R.R Tolkein’s famous poem in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
When my wonderful name was viciously taken away from me, I did the only thing I could think of. I started skimming through websites of quotes.
Oscar Wilde has always struck me as more cynical than anything else with phrases like, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” and, “One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.”
Everything has a twist or a punch to it. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely enjoyed the Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde had a rare gift with the written word. He wrote an essay called, The Soul of Man Under Socialism. It is considered one of the most ambitious works on anarchism and reasserts Wilde’s claims to be a proponent of anarchy. The basic concept is that societally mandated laws and expectations prevent the individual from developing their soul through meaningful creative pursuits and realizing talents because they spend all their time trying to fill impossible goals.
To remedy this Wilde advised embracing socialism and the opportunity it afforded,
“With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
You may notice a familiar phrase in there. To answer your next question: No, I am not a socialist or anarchist. I’m too lazy to try to get all mankind to work against their nature and share. I can’t even get a couple two year olds to share a toy, Why would the most powerful men in the world consider giving all that up for the Greater Good on my say so.
But he did have a point, people commonly get so involved in purposeless busyness and don’t live up to their potential. Mediocrity is encouraged just by the failure to encourage people to think and develop themselves outside of those pursuits that entrap them. People don’t ask why or how they would even start to change.
So, I took a line from a self-proclaimed anarchist to form a blog that would be about living fully in a world that constantly tries to prevent you from doing more than just functioning to get by.
I want to thrive.