Videos by OutKick
Because of the internet, and social media in particular, we have access to so much remarkable information that we tend to glaze over humanity’s great outliers as just another bit of interesting trivia.
Less than a century ago, word of anyone summiting Everest would have dazzled the hearts and minds of parents and children alike. Families would’ve listened in eager anticipation as fantastic stories of triumph poured into their living room radios, and they would’ve done their best to visualize the colossus of Nepal and all of its peril in their own wild imaginations.
There was an innocence to our country then, and despite the ugly depictions of times-gone-by in our liberal media today, the spirit of our nation thrived on innocently believing in the individual. We hadn’t seen, heard, and tasted everything that the world had to offer yet; and thus, we relished the tales of adventurers for the dreams of thrilling exploration and gusto that they instilled in us. Celebrating the remarkable resiliency and powerful determination of the individual is what crafted the foundation of this great country, and only a return to personal autonomy will preserve her greatness.
I encourage you to go read this well-written, inspiring piece about former NFL player Mark Pattison battling the elements and conquering Mount Everest during the early days of COVID. Such acts of fortitude once elevated a man to heroic status, and though summiting Everest has been accomplished many times by many people now, his individual effort still deserves recognition. The unwavering resolve he found in the darkest times—the will to overcome adversity through absolute focus—is the perfect symbol for what America once valued, but now struggles to appreciate…and needs mightily.
Detractors of individualism try to muddle their intentions with talks of the ‘team,’ but the team is only as strong as its weakest link. It is every person’s responsibility to individually become the best version of themselves possible, which starts with dropping all victim narratives and accepting the impending climb of life as a gift, rather than a burden.
Communal governments always fail because they squelch the human spirit, and therefore it is no surprise that the toxicity of mainstream pop culture outwardly advocates for such principles. Weak, neutered individuals clamoring to be rescued from the elements will receive exactly what they want, which is a life of cowardice.
Instead of waiting around for someone else to make your life happen, become the best player on the team and start ascending the peaks of life. If this is the life that you’ve already chosen, then take the time to extend a hand to other climbers who may be struggling to take their next step.
Mark’s journey proved that even elite athletes face moments of difficult uncertainty on their climb to the top, and that is okay. How we react to the obstacles, to the gift and the curse of information overload, will define our legacies and the future of this nation under fire.
Follow me on Twitter @outkicktommy.