"What is the exceptional value that your work can add to the world?" he asked, his tone emphasising the word exceptional. I looked at him, unsure of what to answer. Sensing that I was not going to reply, he continued his speech.
"Because if you're just gonna be average, you're not going to stand out. If you're just going to be average — either by choice or fate — your work will be drowned out in the multitude of other average voices just like you: all wanting to be the special one, all wanting to be noticed."
He does have a valid point. With the dawn of the internet, it has become easier for people to showcase their work, to reach out to a new audience without going through the conventional way. And that has resulted in countless of people on the internet trying to get their work noticed. Singing, acting, cooking, programming and even eating. Everyone is trying to outdo everyone else.
Unless you're exceptional, it's pretty easy to be swept away by the tide. And that is the reality. It's not a wonder why some resort to pretty bizarre stuff just to get noticed.
I looked at him again, thoughts running wild in my head. What's the point of all doing all this then, if at the end of the day you don't get any returns, other than the sake of enjoying what you're doing? Merely loving what you do cannot pay the bills. It doesn't feed hungry mouths. How can some do what they love and yet earn so much at the same time?
He seemed to read my thoughts. "Life is unfair, my dear boy. The lucky ones, well, they can do what they love, get recognised and make tons of money out of it. The majority of us have to lead two different lives in a way. One where we work our assess off to ensure that we don't die of starvation, the other where we do what we love so that we don't die of insanity."
Double lives, huh. That's an interesting way to look at things. And that was exactly what I was feeling. Two lives. One to sustain the other. The other to keep the one going.
"Wouldn't life be good if we can just do whatever we want and not having to worry about surviving?" I mused aloud.
He smiled at me. "We would have world peace already if we could figure out how to do that."
Indeed, we would.