People drop their kids off at school and pick them up from school later and tell themselves (and others) that they have done something their days.
“Take comfort in routine.” said the posters throughout Starbucks.
And people do. They take comfort in routine until their entire life is routine; until every moment is routine; until their brain is not used for any willful function and is only used for breathing and talking.
But I say: routine is a curse. It is no way to live a life. Comforting? Maybe. But it reduces the human to less than an animal, to a bacteria or other microorganism.
I say: Watch out for routine. It is not the first time I have said it. One year ago I wrote:
“It is the monotony, the repetition, the vile day-by-day routine of modern adulthood that drives adults to drink, to affairs, to sex, gambling, and mindless distractions. The routine causes death. Death of creativity, imagination, intellect, and soul.”
Come to find out, I am not the first to do so…
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon balls, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said to-day. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead. ~ Aldous Huxley
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~ Oscar Wilde
Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago. ~ Bernard Berenson
Too much consistency is as bad for the mind as for the body. ~ Aldous Huxley
Consistency is a virtue for trains: what we want from a philosopher is insights, whether he comes by them consistently or not. ~Stephen Vizinczey quotes
Emerson has said that consistency is a virtue of an ass. No thinking human being can be tied down to a view once expressed in the name of consistency. More important than consistency is responsibility. A responsible person must learn to unlearn what he has learned. A responsible person must have the courage to rethink and change his thoughts. Of course there must be good and sufficient reason for unlearning what he has learned and for recasting his thoughts. There can be no finality in rethinking. ~ B. R. Ambedkar
Consistency is the quality of a stagnant mind. ~ John Sloan
Consistency is only suitable for ridicule. ~ Jean Baptiste Moliere
We cannot remain consistent with the world save by growing inconsistent with our past selves. ~ Havelock Ellis
The world’s a scene of changes, and to be constant, in nature, is inconstancy. ~ Abraham Cowley
True consistency, that of the prudent and the wise, is to act in conformity with circumstances, and not to act always the same way under a change of circumstances. ~ John Caldwell Calhoun
The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I’m sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, we respond in the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of social norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us.
And no, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn’t involve tempering my life to better fit someone’s expectations. It doesn’t involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up.
This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can:
F—. That. S—. ~ xkcd
People get trapped in “typical adult life”, which is all routine.