"Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you."
– George Whitefield
Whether we look online, pile through books or attend motivational seminars, we are being told that maintaining the status quo (say – working a 9-5 in a cubicle or factory) is a bad thing. Somewhere down the line you must of been mistaken aiming for that kind of life. The corporate machine or the factory floor will only pigeon hole you into a cog shape – paying the fat cats with the sweat of your brow and the very fabric from your true dreams. This rushes us into a false sense of urgency and we’ve all been there after a bad week of the grind.
“I must take immediate action – time to switch careers to _________”
“__________ about my life needs to change, I can’t cope. I’m going to buy that motorcycle”
“The boss is just using me, I can’t get a raise.”
We ride the google wave all the way to the shores of the 5 step programs, 12 easy steps, 9 ways to avoid and break free of… the status quo.
But what if we have not stopped to ask the question on what is the status quo and what does it actually mean for us? Could it be all that bad?
Online guru’s offering simplistic, easy to follow programs are usually well meaning. To teach the common man about options in his career, social circles and planning retirement are good to put into review. Pivoting away from positions in life that take away from your life instead of adding is a worthwhile investment of time and money. And there is actually nothing wrong with condensing down the information into easy to follow rules. The problem comes from the knee jerk reactions of our place here and now, and what impact we have in the world. For many, when we search deep enough, long enough, we find something icky feeling about life.
Keeping the status quo has a dim association with the unhappy worker, stuck in their respective jobs, punching out deadlines and simply grinding out the clock.
Status Quo By Definition
“the nominative form of the prepositional Latin phrase
“in statu quo” –
Meaning “In the state in which”
A shortening of the original phrase in “statu quo res erant ante bellum”, meaning “in the state in which things were before the war”.
To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are.
When we stop to look at our own life and all it’s complexities it is actually very hard to maintain a status quo. The point could be argued that it is a neccessary skill like many in life. By this token you could reinforce a revised idea that a status quo is instead about maintaining a high quality of workmanship, relationships are nurtured and being the best, most responsible adult you can be for all your extra responsibilities is all apart of it.
In the definition above it makes a particular point about when “things were before there war”. The sentiment gives me a picture the soldier who is taught from day one of boot camp that the maintaining of his uniform, kit, bunk weapon and physical discipline file completely in within the required status quo for a soldier to perform. If they fail to do this, how is a soldier expected to progress to the looking after the men beside him in a fire fight, leading a task unit across a dangerous ravine or commanding battalions of men in a foreign country as he climbs the ranks?
This is why the status quo must be maintained in life.
The cubicle job and the factory floor matter. The dishes need washing and the uniforms for work need ironing. The nappies need changing and the kids need taking to school. These are the simple things that hold the front line every day. In my eyes maintaining status quo, though it consists mainly of the un-glamorous day to day things is some of the a noblest things we can do as citizens of this earth.
There are no medals for maintaining the status quo, but it is the vital backbone to the victories ahead. We are still allowed to dream, still allowed to risk and still allowed to try new things.
Where can you hold the front lines? What are you called to do today that counts the most, yet goes the most unnoticed?