Ever feel like life just kinda does… well… that to ya? Sure, we all have. We’ve all felt like some gigantic douche who is prettier and more powerful than us has slammed our fragile but “differently beautiful” skull into the hood of a car and scrambled our vast expanse of genius. Now… yes, we all get back up and most of us keep trucking right along with life and even playing life’s game… but some of us sit around, stewing in the complete and utter douchery that surrounds us and come out swinging. That’s when we start to think of doing something stupid… or awesome… or perfect.
About 10 months ago I… *ahem* “LEFT” a really shitty job as a campus telephone fundraiser. On top of feeling as if the complete douchery of Captain Hammer (my new supervisor… who I maintain is completely useless… and so incredibly disgusting as a human being) had slammed my head into a car one too many times, I had also had it with hearing about the “heirarchy” people perceive in social relevance. My problem at the time was that I brooded about getting crapped all over by an obese ginger bloke with awful hygiene and the people we had to call and ask for money… (and the student supervising staff which was also new… and either terrible or stupid… or both)… and instead of getting smart about it, I got pissed and went and ranted and bitched and moaned. At the end of the day, they wound up winning that battle because I got stupid. That was that and I got a wonderful “learning experience” out of everything…
See, my favorite “bad guys” are always the “bad guys” who are incredibly intelligent and more “evil because society portrays them as such” rather than the “OMG SUCH A HORRIBLE PERSON!” type. They become “scheming and evil” because they are treated as “lesser” simply because they do not conform to a set standard and then… well… there’s the fall from grace and then they’re the baddies. So here you have Erik Lensherr (Magneto), Stewie, Doctor Horrible, and to some extent, Alpha (though he’s just batshit crazy…). All of these individuals were initially “outsiders” because of their abilities, intelligence, oddly shaped head, etc etc. What makes them all less “pure evil” is that we can relate to them. We relate to the characters who are treated like shit for no real reasons.
Having to hear “you haven’t put in the time that I have and are therefore lesser” over and over or having people beat down on you with their own insecurities fucking sucks. Hell, even when life just takes a giant Cleveland Steamer on your chest… for MONTHS ON END, you start to get a little crazy and begin to relate to characters like those listed above. Hell, I’ll be honest… if the mutations in X-Men were real and I had one… I know EXACTLY whose side I’d be on…
See here’s my thing, there is absolutely no surface-level difference between someone who IS better than everyone and is not nice about it or someone who is NOT better than everyone but acts like it. They both treat other people like complete crap, believe themselves to be superior, and people either fear them or don’t like them. The differences come on levels below the surface. Put simply: Example A IS ACTUALLY SUPERIOR TO Example B. Now, I’m not condoning being an evil guy for shits and giggles but my great REVELATION in my interactions with life the past few weeks and months is that a truly “Good Person” is as unlikely to get by as a truly “Evil Person.”
Now this is obviously a sweeping generalization but when one looks at business interactions (and yes this includes being a student… where you pay to get treated like you are inferior), one sees a trend of selfishness, self preservation, and even veins of dishonesty as well as a general lack of integrity more often than one sees genuine desire to help. Don’t get all “Nancy-No-Fun” with me here… life is relatively cut-throat and I’m sure the guys at Enron never beat their wives or drowned their babies or anything… that’s not what I’m saying.
What I am saying is that most of the time, people cannot differentiate between playing the cut-throat game of life and maintaining integrity. Those of us who attempt to function on a more even plane (Example: “Hey, I’m really good at raising money and you should not treat me like shit even if I intimidate you because we can all work together to accomplish a goal”) tend to get walked all over OR vilified. People who are “too nice” get walked on and people who are tyrannical must maintain a level of “fear” among those below them or else they get overthrown.
So where is the solution? It seems easiest to turn into a complete asshat in response life taking a dump on you but why bother? Why seek to rule the world just because everyone else wants to do the same? I’d rather make people bow in the presence of my awesomeness, if we’re being nerdy and completely honest here, simply because of said awesomeness rather than out of fear. There’s a way around the “game” of life that is often a bitch to find and it’s a pretty lowly path… but it has the element of surprise in it.
If you can play the heartless game of life while maintaining a sense of integrity, then you’ve got a fast track to what you want. It’s called “honesty.” Means you don’t take shit from people, you don’t spew bullshit, and you hold EVERYONE (yourself included) to a set standard of accurate information. Keep your emotions at bay and focus solely on the “cold, hard, and honest math” of any situation. People get so wrapped up in embellishing things, deflecting from the truth, and maintaining a veil of disinformation and fear to keep their positions or power. What is completely unexpected is a person who can hold EVERYONE (him/herself included) to an honest standard. Own it when you fuck up or provide others with ammunition to take you down, make it better, and expect perfection out of yourself and those around you.
At the end of the day, if you’re successful, you’re either Jack Baue or Tony Stark… it just depends on your affinity for kneecapping bitches and the size of your bank account.
That, is your Machiavellian lesson of the day, in case you were interested.
See ya, Space Cowboy.