Excellence and knowledge terrify the cowardly.

Having reached a higher standard, what was once unexpected strokes of greatness amidst mediocrity becomes the ground from which others and self judge you. No longer can you claim inability or lack of insight, for you have proven yourself capable and cognizant of more than what you were and did before.

Having understood more of what is real and false, right and wrong, your conscience is thus educated to a higher level of precision and sensitivity, raising the bar of judgement on even the smallest of decisions. No longer can you hide beneath ignorance or forgetfulness, for what is true and right and good has been revealed to you, and you must henceforth live to that understanding of the truth or be damned.

Consider: Stains on a windowsill stand out more starkly the whiter one cleans it. A drop of dirt on a stained rag is forgivable; a speck of discoloration on an otherwise spotless piece of cloth is an abomination.

To adopt a higher standard in anything is to forfeit the comfort and security found in the acceptance of those around you who fear being anything greater than what they are already, who have sold their soul to the demons they have birthed through weakness, who no longer understand and feel what it means to come fully into the nature of a rational being conscious of and desiring that which most closely resembles the perfect.

It is far more acceptable in the eyes of the masses for you to be one of them, content with movement toward maturity so imperceptible it might as well be stagnation or regression, than to be committed to something greater, more noble, more true than the codes they have built around themselves to protect their mediocrity.

But more insidious still is the fear of the coward within us that, when greeted with a vision of the true and good and beautiful, shrinks back into the darkness from whence it came, unable to bear the responsibility of a higher standard of existence. We know we are created to be and say and act in such a manner that the slightest touch of folly or deviation from the path of good in our lives would be glaringly apparent to all; but we fear the burden that places on our conscience and being, and so we teach ourselves to befriend baser thoughts and actions, and to consider such perfection as unattainable ideals applicable only to the few enlightened.

Thus many never attempt true excellence, nor seek knowledge that transcends the commonplace and temporary. One may, of course, attain excellence in one’s work, for the sake of maintaining a position or income; another may seek more knowledge to impress those around him, or to satisfy one’s own curiosity on a certain subject.

Yet so few place the highest possible standard on their whole being, not allowing themselves to compartmentalize their soul, heart, mind, words, thoughts, and actions and apply to them separate “consciences”, but to treat themselves as one complete unit which must be entirely in service to the greatest truth, goodness, rightness, and beauty they perceive.

Ask yourself: Is it worth living life any other way?

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