IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son! If | Rudyard Kipling
Last night, I dreamed I won the lottery. I waited the obligatory 180 days before coming forward to claim my prize during which time I met with my lawyers and a team of accountants. I was being interviewed on TV. The interviewer asked if I thought my life would change. I realized then how fortunate I am, that even a shit load of cash would not affect my life in the least.
I couldn’t buy back my youth. Or share my prize with the husband of my youth. I would never share the prize with a friend I’ve had for thirty years or the family I’ve loved, been surrounded, nourished and encouraged by all my whole life long. No church home do I have, no community where I belong. No. My life would not change in all the ways that matter at all.
Being different and having cognition around just how “different” I am makes for a life that is not full of pleasant surprises. At work, people abruptly stop talking when I happen by or worse, they’re talking about me just as I enter in and hear every word they’ve said. Before I got my dog, I can go entire weekends without ever parting my lips to utter a single word. The phone never rings and there is never anyone to call. I have never owned nor have I ever needed a day planner.
Now I have all this money. I can pay my bills, move back to Manhattan and afford to live there and live the remainder of my days confident I will not be set upon or harassed by anyone calling themselves “family” or “friend.”
Living a life of principle based on reason is not the broad and spacious road. The world rewards its own; those whose greatest hope and highest aspiration is to be different, just like everybody else. After all there is safety in numbers, in not only thinking with the group but like the group. While you may not be the most popular you’re not on the outside. You belong where it’s safe. And let’s not forget there is the emotional perk. Yup, yup, yup, it’s fun to be mean.
The greatest benefit though is you get to keep your job. Keeping your job means you get to pay your bills. Paying your bills means you get to create more bills, acquire stuff, send the kids to camp, keep in touch with mom and dad, lunch with your siblings. Own a dog. Your greatest ambition is to get invited to lunch with Mean People. It’s good to fit in. It’s smart, too. You’re popular. People like you.
Popularity is people liking you…
- Following your conscience instead of “following the crowd.”
- Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
- Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
- Speaking your mind even though others don’t agree.
- Taking complete responsibility for your actions…and your mistakes.
- Following the rules – and insisting that others do the same.
- Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
- Doing what you know is right – regardless of the risks and potential consequences
Happiness… is You liking you.
Which is hard to do when you’re unable to sustain a quality of life. That’s why I rather dislike pithy feel-goodisms. And being hungry.
“You are not deep. You made your bed. Now sleep.”–Hater tweet