Instead of arching cabbages, it is better to be a maverick

Recently a video has become popular inside the education circle. In the video, Xiao Zhang from Hengshui Middle School says this.

“I am a pig from the countryside, but also determined to arch the cabbage in the big city! “

There is no doubt that this sentence with a strong sense of hooliganism, reminding me of the TV series in which the punks see the girls often say: “Beauty, play with the young master? “

But I don’t want to criticize Xiao Zhang students too much. For one thing, I don’t really understand the context in which the video was shot. There is a possibility that in certain scenarios (for example, he was successful, or he thought he was going to be successful), a person will say something exaggerated, not to mention a high school with little social experience, and he did not know the consequences of public opinion brought about by this statement. Frankly speaking, in the college dormitory sleepover, a few young guys who had too much to drink would also say something out of line, but we would never say it openly in the daytime. This sentence is seriously analyzed, although more than out of line again and again out of line a little, but Xiao Zhang students may not really carry the kind of malice contained in the words themselves, I prefer to kindly understand it as a kind of complacency.

Secondly, to appear in the video, it shows that Xiao Zhang’s thinking has been recognized in some way. And the reason why Zhang has this kind of thinking, it is behind the recognition of Zhang’s “system” cultivated. This kind of thinking is not unique to Zhang, his classmates, even and his similar situation of secondary school students, are more or less have such a thinking. And Xiao Zhang, perhaps a “role model” under this system, so he got the opportunity to be interviewed, and then a moment did not hold back, with a vulgar metaphor known The world. If we really want to reflect on this, we should reflect on the system behind it.

What I want to say to Zhang is: Although you may achieve the so-called “class leap” in this system, but the probability is actually very small, and, even if you Even if you succeed, you will be a more advanced kind of pig, and in the end, you may still avoid the fate of becoming a ham.

Just like the duck in this cartoon.

Speaking of pigs, two people come to mind (not including myself).

One is George Orwell, who wrote a novel “Animal Farm”. The pigs lead the animals in a rebellion against the farmer and win, becoming the new leader. At first, the animals set the commandments: all animals are equal, and everyone is happy. But gradually, the pigs begin to grasp more and more privileges, and, the pigs learn to use public opinion to justify their privileges. Finally, finally, one day, the commandment became: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.

And another person who comes to mind is Wang Xiaobo, who has an article “A Maverick Pig”.

“This guy is as agile as a goat, jumping over a one-meter-high pig pen in a single bound; he can also jump on the roof of a pig pen, which is again like a cat – so he always wanders around and doesn’t stay in the pen at all. “

“After eating, he jumps on the roof to sunbathe, or imitate various sounds. He will learn the car rattle, tractor rattle, learn all very similar; sometimes all day long disappeared, I guess he went to the nearby village to look for sows. We have sows here too, but they are kept in pens, and they are overfertilized, dirty and smelly, he is not interested in them; the sows in the village are better looking. “

“Later, the pig brother learned the siren call, a skill that brought him trouble. There was a sugar factory where we had to sound the whistle once at noon to let the workers change shifts. When our team went to work in the field, we heard the siren and returned from work. My pig brother always jumped to the room every morning at 10 o’clock to learn the siren, the people in the field heard it and came back – this is an hour and a half earlier than the sugar factory siren. Frankly speaking, this can not be blamed on the pig brother, after all, it is not a boiler, screaming and steam whistle is still some difference, but the old folks are hard to hear. The leadership therefore held a meeting, set it as a bad element to destroy the spring plowing, to take dictatorial means to it …… instructor with two dozen people, holding a five-four pistol; deputy instructor with a dozen people, holding a musket to see the green, in two ways outside the piggery in the open space touting it. …… pig brother’s calmness makes me admire extremely: it is very calmly hiding within the line of pistols and muskets, let people shout dog bite, do not leave that line. This way, the person with the pistol will fire to kill the one with the musket, and vice versa; both ends fire at the same time, both ends will be killed. As for it, because the target is small, most of them are fine. After making several circles in this way, it found an opening and crashed out headlong; running with great panache. “

The first time I read this article, probably not long after graduating from college, I was struggling at work. At that time I was working as a project manager in a communications company, managing the construction and service of more than a dozen communications projects in South China, with good income and a bright career, but I just couldn’t feel the sense of meaning, but was surrounded by anxiety every day, especially on Sunday night, the thought of facing customers and account managers the next day, causing me to get a migraine during that time.

Then I met this pig and admired it. It was as if I saw the possibility of another life, although at that time I was oblivious to what this possibility really was.

I think Xiao Zhang’s earth pig, George Orwell’s pig leader, and Wang Xiaobo’s maverick pig represent the three relationships between pigs and the world: obedience, confrontation, and straying.

Obedience means that you agree with the rules of the world and work your way up in the system that the world has set up for you. This path usually means entering a prestigious school, taking the civil service exam, getting married early, responding to the country’s call for two or even three children, working hard, and using your salary to pay for your house and car …… This path is relatively the least psychologically stressful because society and the people around you mostly expect you to take this path, although the motives vary. Society expects you to do so because you can contribute the most tax revenue to society, and people around you because they think this path is both safe and rewarding.

But this road is also the most competitive, because the vast majority of people think that this is a “good road”, the result is often crowded with blood, do not believe it, you look at the annual The fever of the civil service examination will know. And the greater result is: this society has rolled, everyone has become the “Alice in Wonderland” in the Queen of Hearts: you must run as hard as you can to stay in place – or you will fall behind and become a laggard.

Of course, that’s not the biggest risk of taking the path of conformity. The two biggest risks are, one, is this the path you want to take? Do you feel happy? Two, do you believe that this path will still be the right one in twenty years? How can you be sure?

And the second relationship, confrontation, is actually a less realistic path, although I am surrounded by many such friends. In the last decade, this path has become even more difficult to follow. Take the public interest sector, for example, which a decade or so ago was called civil society, but is now called social services, and certain other areas are even more so, and can’t even be written about here. So, it takes a lot of courage to go down this road, you have to face not only from the “system” of blocking, more may be from friends and peers of the disbelief and hostility: “You are still promoting civic action. “Are you still promoting civic action? No, no, now you need to think commercially to do good. “At the same time, you need to be extremely introspective to prevent yourself from turning into George Orwell’s pig leader. Either way, I have the utmost respect for those who decide to go down this path.

Finally, there is the path of straying, which is perhaps the path that ordinary people can try. What is straying? Let’s hear a story.

During the Cold War in Germany, someone from East Germany used to sneak away to West Germany. Soldiers from East Germany received orders from their superiors to shoot and kill the person who wanted to run away to West Germany. Later, the Berlin Wall came down and the soldier who shot him was tried. During the trial, the 19-year-old East German soldier who fired the gun cried and said that his superiors had ordered the shooting. The judge said: You should not disobey the order, but you can raise the gun an inch ah.

The so-called straying is such a muzzle raising of one inch. You have your role in the system, you must obey its rules, but you still have a little freedom of choice.

A story also comes to mind, which I’m sure you all know, “Schindler’s List”, so I won’t go into detail. Schindler was a supplier to the German army and had a lot of business with the German army. On the surface he was a mercenary businessman, but behind the scenes, he used the trust of the German army to shelter a large number of Jews in the name of the need for skilled workers in the factories.

However, straying was not easy. First of all, it requires the spirit of the game. Only by seeing the system as a kind of game can you find the bugs in it, and the sad thing is that in our education and culture, the system is not to be questioned, while the spirit of play is considered childish and even tacitly forbidden in education. So as we grow into adulthood, few of us retain the spirit of the game.

Second, the consequence of straying is that you may have a hard time succeeding in the mainstream. The soldier with his gun raised an inch has a hard time getting promoted, and the businessman who shelters Jews in the name of his job even runs the risk of being denounced. To stray often means to be marginalized, a consequence you need to bear if you hope to enjoy more peace of mind and freedom.

Speaking of straying, it reminds me of a band that made a particular impression on me last year, Five Stripes.

At first glance, Five Stripes, especially lead singer Renko, is an oddity.

While other bands sit upright during the competition, they pour wine into yogurt and lie drunk on the couch to sleep.

Wearing slippers directly on the stage, on the stage also directly to the original arrangement of the song to change, so that the scene without subtitles, they changed to sing a dialect song, no one in the audience and the judges can understand, so it is logical to obtain a low score, tumultuous directly to their own elimination. After the elimination, but also comforted the young guide: “You can find a better job. “

However, they are also outspoken that on the Le Xia is for fame and fortune. Because with fame and fortune, you can have a better life and get your songs and the thinking behind them across to more people.

Their songs, not much to say, you go listen to it, listen to it right.

Later, Xu Zhiyuan’s “Thirteen Invitations” interviewed them.

In the interview, Renko said that

“I don’t have a house to live in right now in all of China, I’m throwing my luggage in the rehearsal room. “

But, “I want to buy a piano. But there’s no house to put it in, and I’m not too keen on buying a house. I like piano very much, I have money now, I want to buy a good piano. “

“There has been no fear, all these years, sometimes when I was poor as a dog I had no fear. “

What a spontaneity, reminds me of that pig in Wang Xiaobo’s book, or the Bohemian.

In the interview, Renko mentioned the word “walking”, which can be described as the rhythm of wandering.

“I want to walk away, I don’t believe that people must be trapped by the rules. Because once life is trapped by the rules is a lifetime, or a dozen years at once, precisely need to walk away to let it come to life. “

Do you dare to walk away from God?

So, what to do?

My advice is to actively seek the edge and live together in it.

Even the most powerful empire has an edge.

The edge is where its power is weak, and it is only at the edge that freedom can be found.

The edge here can be the edge of social identity. For example, freelancer, small studio, self-employed, full-time mother, independent living, etc. These identities may be poorly understood and lack social support, while needing to rely on self-reliance to barely survive. But the good news is that they may become a more mainstream option in the future. For example, in the 90s, the sea business, the 00s open online store, when the choice of these trades may be laid off workers, unmotivated grassroots cadres, college students who can not find a job, etc., for them at the time, this is just a choice of necessity, but in the end, many millionaires are from these trades out of the long.

Another kind of edge, is the edge of the region. The high cost of living in the city, but also to withstand the constant overtime, bad weather, it is better to return. In the past few years, many of my friends have moved to the fringes like Dali, Shaxi, Qixi (Zhongshan), Damoyu (Kunming), Changzhou and Xiaozhou Village (Guangzhou), and have clustered together to keep watch over each other. The development of the Internet has reduced the advantages of living in big cities, but instead has given small places a different kind of attraction. And there are more interesting attempts to live in small places, such as co-living communities, organic farming, rural development, new education, etc., that big cities cannot give.

There is another kind of edge, the edge of the market. For example, I have many friends who are doing what they call “educational innovation”, and they are not responding to the demand for exams abroad or vocational skills, but rather to the inner human being. They are not responding to the need for exams or vocational skills, but to the inner development of the whole person, helping learners to develop themselves better through gamification, project-based learning, etc. Such an education is not destined to be favored by mainstream parents or adults in the current highly involuted society. I remember at a Slow Conversation at Slow School this year, I was talking with my old friend Mr. Oda about her Anago Village Learning Center project in Lijiang. I’ve been to Anago three times and really liked it, the scenery is beautiful and the villagers have an elemental spirit. However, it is difficult to achieve sustainable business in such a remote village – it is destined to be a very slow, slow project.

At the end of the conversation, I gave Xiaotian three pieces of advice.

  1. For idealistic projects, people always come first. Venture partners, partners, and investors all need to share a common philosophy.
  2. Focus on the niche, not blindly chasing the mass market. Niche can also be very influential, such as Harley motorcycle.
  3. Say it, do it, live it. Most people’s imagination is limited, if you can not rely on language to convince users or investors, then do it, do not be afraid of rough or imperfect. Of course, it’s best if you can eventually live it out, because entrepreneurship itself is a practice.

I think these suggestions are also suitable for all people who desire to stray. Choosing an alternative form of life, what we need is not to change the world, but not to be changed by it. So, relax, put yourself in the right position, and be good with the right people.

Ask the gentleman what he can do. The heart is far away from the ground.

To sum up.

Obedience gains security, confrontation requires courage, and straying sets you free.

You need to make a decision about what kind of life you choose.