The Carrot

It is very difficult to be absolutely nobody, just as it is to be someone very special. By “be”, I mean to become consciously, with your own will. I’m not sure how this is possible, or what exactly it means to “be” nobody. Avoiding to become famous, isn’t what I mean, because “avoid” implies that you have a potential to be famous, and that you are pursuing something that can potentially make you famous, or that you are aware of this potential.

What makes it difficult is our ego. It is very difficult to be nobody and not feel bad about it. Our egos are constantly driving us to be better, and if we don’t succeed, our egos would punish us by making us feel guilty or depressed. This is a vicious cycle. It goes on forever. Nothing is ever good enough for our egos. It is like a carrot dangled in front of a donkey. If we don’t go for it, then we become depressed by the presence of the carrot in front of us. Even if we go for it, we never catch it. The only way out of it is to be indifferent about the carrot. Whether you run towards the carrot or not, if you can’t be indifferent about the carrot, you will forever be trapped in the vicious cycle. Whether what you want to “be” is somebody or nobody, in this sense, becomes a secondary issue.

But how does one “become” indifferent? Indifference is not something one achieves by will. You are simply indifferent, or you are not. Your will has no choice in the matter. How indifferent you are to the carrot is almost predestined. Some people crave the carrot while others don’t at all. Some people are afraid of the carrot and try to stay away from it, because they know deep down how much they want it. Some people criticize others who gave up on running towards the carrot, while others criticize those who are constantly chasing the carrot. Some people try to control their desire for the carrot by suppressing it. Some try to run towards it as fast as they can and burn themselves out. Our relationships to the carrot manifest in a variety of ways.

I am fascinated by those who are indifferent to the carrot. These people are very rare. Many people pretend that they are indifferent, and these pretenders can sometimes really fool you. Truly indifferent people are seldom found, and when I do find them, I’m mesmerized by them. I think to myself, “How do they do it?”, knowing very well that they don’t “do” anything.

The carrot, in a way, is the bane of our existence. Our relationships to the carrot largely dictate what we do in our lives, and how we live our lives. As our relationship to it changes, the perspective of our lives changes along with it. Our sense of value is based on our relationship to the carrot as well.

I used to hate the fact that the carrot was hanging right in front of me. I saw it as a cruel joke played by God. Now I have surrendered to him, and I play along with his joke. I don’t pretend or try to be indifferent. It is simply impossible. I’m careful, though, not to fall victim of his joke. The key here is not to take the carrot too seriously. As long as you are aware that what is important is not the carrot itself, but your relationship to it, then you know where to draw the line.

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