The Ethos of the Extreme
Today’s world expects us to go to extremes in everything we do.
Entrepreneurs wear the 90-hour workweek as a badge of pride.
Parents obsessively pursue every new childrearing fad.
The ideal body image, for both men and women, has become unattainable without strict diets and hours at the gym.
All reality TV competitions now repeat the same mantra: to the victor the spoils. You’re either the best, or you’re one of the rest.
This is not a worldview which supports balanced living.
Ours is a world in which intense competition is praised, with all the glory going to the ones at the top. But at the same time the world also tells us: you can have it all.
You can watch all the shows, buy all the things, enjoy all the experiences. You can be a tiger mother, a brilliant careerist, an extraordinary athlete, and a lover who makes the earth move — all while travelling the world, speaking seven languages fluently, playing lead guitar in your spare time, and knowing your Pinot Gris from your Pinot Grigio.
Fear of Missing Out has become the spirit of our age. Faced with such unrealistic expectations, we have only two solutions:
either we spend our guilt-ridden lives endlessly trying — and failing — to measure up, or we take a stand and tell the world to mind its own damn business.