So the big football
player from a small town goes off to college
and is overwhelmed by the sheer number of people there. He's depressed
because he's no longer the "Big Shot on Campus". People look at him and say, "Well, that's what happens when the big fish
in a small pond becomes a big fish in a big pond." But I question the idea that life in a small pond is somehow better.
I'm what you would call an expert
on the subject. I grew up in a small pond with about 20,000 fish and went to college in another small pond with a school
of about 1,200 fish. I'm not what you would call a big fish, but I am a different fish. The thing with small ponds is that they tend to have only one species
of fish, and if you happen to be a striped bass
in a pond full of yellow bass, you're got some problem
1. Fish don't like different fish. You won't make many friends, and the other fish will spread nasty rumor
s about you and make funny fish faces at you.
2. It really cuts down on your chances of finding a mate
3. The other fish won't listen to you. You can tell them that that tasty
is attached to a hook
from here to eternity, but they won't heed you. Actually, this is more of a problem for the other fish.
4. The other fish will scrutinize
your every move, and if you fall for that glowing-thing-on-the-canivorous
even once, you'll hear about it for the rest of your life.
Of course, we anti-social
ites like to brag
all day long about how we don't need the approval
of the other fish; we're not supposed to be that shallow
intended). But there's a funny thing about some animal
s: we need to fit into a group. Nobody really likes to be alone
. This goes for fish, monkey
s, and even cats
(ever try to keep a single indoor cat? Don't do it. Trust me.)
Yes, it's petty
. We're supposed to revel
, it's the American dream
. But it's tough to be different. It's not so much of a problem when you live in a big pond, but small ponds are notorious for encouraging conformity
Side note: this is part of what makes the Internet
so great. If you're in a small pond full of fish who're a differnt species, you can easily find a stream
through the Intenet to fish of your own kind.
I've taken the fish analogy
a bit too far, so I guess I should relate a moral
or something now. Here it is: Don't be too harsh
on people who give up a little bit of their individuality
to live a more comfortable life. Sure, it's a terrible thing to happen, but it's not easy being different. Your opinions are made an issue every day of your life when you happen to disagree with those around you, and it gets exhausting after a while.