At some point this week, I was reminded of those gold stars our teachers would make us earn in our formative years. The first five years of my life at school centered around those tiny shimmering decals and nothing mattered more than seeing them stuck next to my name in the class register.
It's amazing as much as it is utterly absurd just how much value we put on those little stickers. Everyone competed for one in the classroom - because getting one meant that you not only achieved something, but that whatever you had contributed to the world was also valuable and you were worthy.
I ended up hating those gold stars; only because I rarely ever got one and hated feeling like I wasn't living up to my non-existent potential. And even when I did get one, I still felt like I wasn't good enough, because someone else always had two or three more than I did. Eventually, I gave up trying to get any, and decided that I didn't even want one. Somewhere, somehow, acting as a catalyst during those formative years, my brain decided that it neither desired nor required whatever everyone else was chasing or what they had acquired.
And I've been swimming against the current ever since.
Sometimes though, I can't help feeling that things don't change and we're all still chasing those gold stars... seeking that validation, that approval... trying to obtain that sense of worth, a feeling of accomplishment... trying to prove to the world that we are indeed good enough and that we deserve to be here. We want what we can't get, and when we get it, we want more.