High School and the Darwinist rule


Jeff Meyer

Creative Commons, Flickr

Grayson Coker, Opinions Editor

Everyone has heard high school referred to as a social hierarchy, with status based directly on the amount of respect received from peers. While the majority perceive the social politics in this arena as an almost pure democracy with the people electing their popular “rulers,” it is in fact nothing more than a glorified mob rule governed by a group of rotating patsies destined to fall from grace.

No matter if the mention of your name comes with benevolent or malevolent connotations, your power is accrued by name drops among the ignorant masses. By having your name whispered in all corners, you sit atop a social throne of sorts, with ignorants subjects standing behind you. This concept does not merely end with adolescence, carrying on into the adult life. Whether it is kept under wraps or spoken with bravado, this power is still a gift (or arguably a curse) from the populus. And while they are pseudo-elected by the majority, there is always a minority that chooses to swim against the tide.

This calls to mind if one has the strength as an individual to not need to be at the top of the pyramid to achieve validation. Personally, in chasing the dragon of validation I’ve made mistakes, letting rumors run awry and friendships ferment into sour cocktails of resentment. I recently had an epiphany, and realized

…the bottom of the ladder with people similar to yourself is a lot more sustainable than always fighting for the top.”

Someone once told me, “The groups are ignorant, while the independent are genius.”

I find that totally relevant here; the popular crowd we are conditioned to respect are always the most immoral and usually leading a hollow existence. If someone were to attack their personality or who they are, the amount of people there to support them could be counted on one hand. The social ladder climbers will always be around, and the moment where the rungs disappear and they plunge into irrelevancy will be perpetual. The power they have will be no more, and that fulfillment in their life from all of this will become vacant. The position at the top of this ladder does not gain you anything except a clear view of all the people succeeding under you. The people that don’t care how others view them tend to have the most happiness.

Now this is not a call for total apathy and the vacation of any future goals. Also, this is not an endorsement of social coups or an exercise in schadenfreude. The real point is you can either fight tooth and nail to get a top that is at best temporary and at worst not destined to be yours, or to enjoy your own niche and watch Darwin’s principles while you search for the validation that you see as an accomplishment, not an accomplishment to be seen by others.