“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?””
The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. The fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance.
David Foster Wallace said those words. He also famously said that:
“If your total freedom of choice regarding what to think about seems too obvious to waste time discussing, I’d ask you to think about fish and water, and to bracket for just a few minutes your skepticism about the value of the totally obvious.”
David Foster Wallace didn’t make it. He never gave up, he just never had the helping hand a visionary needs.
We often must be remind that our reality is commonly the hardest thing to acknowledge and talk about.
It is quite easy to be tall when you’re standing above everyone else. It is not heroic nor honorable. The challenge is to be reminded that our reality should not be dictated by what we see but by what we don’t.
Be less certain of things you see and more about what you don’t see. The perception is ours to have, the decision is ours to keep.
Just know, this is water.
Today is ours, tomorrow who knows?