“We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings. … Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.” — John Updike
I couldn’t disagree with Mr. Updike more that most of our lives are mundane and dull. The real truth (from my perspective) is that our lives are anything but mundane and dull. We may not realize it, but each day we process millions of pieces of information. If there is a mundane and dull aspect to life, it’s a result of not capturing enough of the information with which we come into contact.
One of the things I’m always hearing is that boredom is a huge relapse trigger. To that, I always say, “Only boring people get bored.” See, I believe that all of humanity owns an innate need and capacity to create. We don’t need to be rich or famous, but we do need to create as a way to express the simple fact that we are here and that we matter. It almost seems to me that people live their lives within a box that they build for themselves. All kinds of life happens around that box, but it seems like some people only see, touch, hear, taste, and smell that which is in their box. They accept that the box they’ve created for themselves is all that they can experience in this lifetime.
I also disagree with Mr. Updike that it’s up to writers to make life interesting. Life IS interesting. It’s just that people’s attention span has dwindled so much that what counts as interesting involves a lot of noise or flash. A simple sunrise hardly holds anyone’s attention anymore, but I challenge any Vine video creator to come up with something half as layered and improvised as something that happens differently every day. If we need someone else to make our lives interesting, maybe we should look at the box in which we live and attempt to create a life that can’t be easily contained in a box.
And, to me, there’s no way we’re past the age of heroes. No way. If anything, we need to become the heroes of our own lives. There are plenty of villains, but if we work hard enough, we can overwhelm their treachery and become heroes with even the simplest acts. We can love each other and treat each other with respect and compassion; those two simple acts can change the world and stem the tide of darkness that seems to box in our world.
Really, we’re all writers and poets. We just need to find the right pens and allow ourselves to see past the walls of the boxes we create for ourselves.