You can change the world

greatnessRomania has a pretty strange educational system. And, well, the whole system does nothing to tell you that you are special, that you are capable of greatness. I don’t know if this is a bad thing or not, but I’ve always wanted to believe that people have greatness inside of them, that people are capable of being great, of doing wonderful things.

But they’re constantly being told that they’re just average, that they have to play a small part, that changing the world is a task reserved to other individuals.

It’s always others who get to do all the things we want to do, isn’t it?

I grew up as a strange kid. I always wanted more, not because I felt I was great (and I don’t feel like I’m great), but because I felt that it would be better to fail trying to achieve greatness than to never fail at all.

You know, when we’re little we usually dream big. We look up at the stars and we imagine that we only have to grow up in order to reach them. Most of the times, we grow up and never look up at the stars again.

In a world of numbers and figures and bills and mortgages and loans you don’t have time to dream big, you don’t have time to aspire for greatness. You’re constantly being told so.

I was constantly told so, but I just didn’t listen.

I spent years writing with the sense that I wasn’t a good writer. And it was frustrating to do so, to write when others told you that you weren’t cut out for this, or when they simply didn’t care enough to tell you anything at all. You see, I was constantly comparing myself to all the great writers I was reading, and I just felt like I wasn’t good enough. And I was afraid that I would never be good enough.

Much, much later I learned not to care. I learned, in the hardest possible way, that I can only strive to be better than I used to be. That’s the only battle worth fighting. I learned that constantly asking yourself whether or not you’re good enough is harmful. Actually… good enough for what? Or for whom?

Maybe when you feel like you’re fighting against the whole world for something you believe in is the best possible feeling ever. It might make you angry or sad or frustrated, but in the end, you’ll know you stood up for something.

The world doesn’t owe you anything.

It’s well worth remembering that. In a way, it all depends on you.

Yes, luck plays its part, but if you try hard enough, if you work hard enough, luck will be the only factor you can’t control. Only you can choose to do so. And guess what? The harder you work, the luckier you get.

There are two types of people in this world: the ones who exist and the ones who live. Most of the times we can’t even figure out which category we’re in, let alone fight our way out of it. Honestly, most people don’t want to know.

I say this is wrong. A life worth living is one in which you are aware of your decisions and actions and you react based on what happens around you. Based on what happens inside you. It’s not easy or simple, but it’s something you’ve got to do.


18 thoughts on “You can change the world

  1. That’s a coincidence. Today I was wondering if other people of PA. Dutch families had a similar childhood experience to mine. ( No encouragement to be an artist, just stay out of trouble and be quiet) . They never said I had greatness inside me or that I was special either. Now that I’m no longer a young kid , I’m glad there wasn’t pressure on me to prove anything to the world. The strange thing with raising kids is that if your expectations are too high you’re setting them up for disappointment. And if the parents have low expectations then everything that goes right is like a gift from God. hahahahha

  2. I am not preety sure that only in Romania people grow up with this system. You can see that all over the world are people like you, like me who grow up learning that they are not good enough for anything, because the sistem educated our parents as well this way. It’s very hard to change an older habbit with a new and good one but not impossible. First thing to get out of this is to be conscious of what you are and what you want to become.
    Thank you, nice article!

  3. I’m still stuck on what you said at the beginning about education in Romania. I had some American (like me) friends years back who spent some time in Poland and said the same about the general ethos there. I feel like there needs to be some kind of happy medium. Here they inflate expectations in a way that can sometimes be devastating, and my impression is that elsewhere expectations are suffocated before they even have a chance.

    Also: I love your last paragraph. You nailed it.

  4. A hearty “YES!” to all this. Glad you found your center and your passion and are committed to pursuing it! We can only be as great as we allow ourselves to be. Keep writing, Cristian!

  5. I can definitely relate to that feeling of incapability, like what you write will never be good enough. Greatness is a word that often bounces around the inside of my head and it’s more than ambition. For me it’s an aching compulsion that I’m meant to do something and you articulate this very well.

  6. Congratulation for this wonderful post…I feel that these type of very honest words lead to unite us into a group of people that share the same…something. And it is always amazing to feel that you belong with someone…belong to a group, that you are not alone, that you have people that understands you. I live in a country, in a city, in a society that sadly…has nothing to do with my believes. So reading this feels great.

  7. In Vietnam, the curriculum for art remains pretty much the same from year 1 to year 9. We only used water-based medium, not even oil paints or wood etc. Just fine art for 10 years! No teaching on abstract thinking and encouraging own research and self expression. I was in utter shock when I fi d out about how pupils learn art in England.

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