Paragon

As one progresses through certain stages in their life, they will encounter many different people. There are many from different walks of life. That is why it is in one’s best interest to keep an open-mind when it comes to these types of things. “These things” being people in general. It helps to facilitate a good working relationship and base for your interactions with others. Not everyone is going to share the same views as that backwater town you came from.

As stated before, you meet people. You make friends from these people. You make enemies from these people. You make disguised friends from these people. Most people will usually have a good group of friends and will usually end up having a neutral relationship with them. Most people will usually not feel ambivalent or strongly about anything they do or say mainly because of the fact that these people are politically-correct and will avoid confrontation at all costs. There is nothing wrong with avoiding confrontation but when you have to compromise your opinions in the sake of being “politically-correct”, then you have a problem.

Then there will be a portion of people that usually tend to polarize people. Some will usually have a negative to extremely negative view of the person (whether justified or not) and some will have a positive to extremely positive view of the person (whether justified or not). The actual percentage breakdown is dependent on the individual. The actions that the individuals have taken to get here are also dependent as well.

As on par the course with nature, there will be some humans that will decide to rise above the quicksand that is known as complacency. They are the driven ones, they are the ones that wish to carve out a better existence for themselves and the people they are in close contact with. They wish to thrive and strive to be the best they can be. As one climbs the social, monetary, physical (insert adjective here) ladder there will be people that will drag them down.  They are known in 21st century vernacular as “haters”. Many people brag about having haters, this is quite common in our cybernarcissistic hamster-wheel attention span culture. Having haters is a sign that you’re doing something right, no? The reality is, most people have not done much of anything to justify having a large span of haters other than being a complete asshole or jerk to people they meet. These people haven’t done anything revolutionary, they haven’t done anything innovative, they haven’t done anything creative. If they have any haters, it’s because of simple asshattery, nothing more nothing less.

Then, there are the people that have a large amount of “haters” simply because they are successful in some type of mastery. Whether it be business, arts, or sciences. People will be jealous of what they cannot attain. Mastery means putting in the work and effort to become a “master” in your given field, which correlates to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory. Many people are simply too lazy, unintelligent, or impatient to achieve mastery over anything. It is expected in this instant gratification culture to instantly be good at anything. No. It didn’t work for your grandparents and it sure as shit won’t work for you.

When mastery or dominance in an area is on its way to be achieved, there will be naysayers that will come out of the woodwork. Many of them will come out unexpected places. Many of them might end up being very close to you. These people will often tell you that your dreams, goals, and ambitions are foolish and you are better off doing nothing. The goal of these people is just to keep everyone who wish to follow their dreams down so that they will not have feelings of inadequacy every time they see you making a breakthrough. These people were too scared or lacked the resources to make their own breakthrough, now they are stopping yours.

The only way to reach Tahoe’s peak is to cast off these naysayers and plow ahead. A type of solipsistic self-indulgence is necessary, one that borders on the edge of narcissism in order to guard against this threat to sanity.  People gravitate towards mastery and dominance. That is why people in the upper echelons have more hangers on than they know what to do with.
The key, like everything in life, is to separate the good from the bad.

Envy

Envy is a strong emotion. Also referred to as “invidiousness”, it is one of the most intense emotions we can ever experience as a human being. Envy starts as a seed planted somewhere within the soul. It takes root, watering itself on the tears of longing. It grows by resentment. What was once a small kindle eventually erupts into an unquenchable firestorm. Envy is guaranteed to burn alive the essence of even the strongest man, leaving nothing behind but a shallow husk that mumbles and grumbles to itself. That is what envy does.

Envy is born as a result of seeing qualities in others that we feel we lack in ourselves or that we wish we had in ourselves. Envy stems from inadequacy and that stems from a misunderstanding of the true nature of the universe. Everyone has been envious at one point or another in their lives, people are just too proud to admit it. Everyone tries to appear as if they lead a rosy life full of puppies and sunshine but that is certainly not the case.

I have felt envy before. I remember how it felt. It was as if my inner being was being seared with a coal poker. Envy is often not verbalized. One does not think the thoughts “Oh, I wish I was as strong as that guy” or “I wish I was as pretty as that girl”. Envy tends to be a reactionary, reflexive emotion rather than one that is default. It seems to be the body’s defense mechanism against a threat.

When I envy, I tend to get sad rather than angry as I am not an angry person. I then start to dwell on what I lack compared to that person. I then dwell on the question “are these traits fixable?” “If not, what can I do to fix them?” If they are not, then I tend to sink in sadness more. Fun, isn’t it?

I have noticed that most of the time people tend to envy what they cannot have. The subconscious knows this. The ego knows this. When one envies, the population is seperated into two parts: you and the rival. The rival is a threat to you because they are better than you. You then fear that the rival will become dominant and that you will cease to exist. Evolutionary programming at its finest.

Envy is no fun. It is accompanied by a great feeling of distress, helplessness, and hopelessness. There is no panacea for envy. In order to envy less, you must have more.

 

Let’s just hope that you were dealt the right hand in life.

 

 

– Scotia

Fortune

I have spent many nights lying in my bed pondering why some men have good luck and others have luck of the worst kind. Why some people can’t catch a break while others manage to get away with well, just about everything. Why some people have better family lives, better relationships, better genes. There are a million and one questions I can ask about the seemingly disproportionate nature of fortune.

Why do some people manage to go their entire lives without seeing a shred of tragedy except from a distance in the news and on television? Why must some people endure the trauma of divorce of their parents and then told to “get over it” as soon as possible? Why are some people born to parents that give them up for adoption? Why do some people have extraordinary talents and others have none to speak of? Why some people born literally mentally retarded? Why do some people find themselves surrounded by a huge network of support when things go south and others discarded to the side no better than the crumpled potato chip bag in the parking lot? Why are some people born in god forsaken locales on Earth, dying before they ever get a chance to live? Why do the grandparents of some people die before they ever get to know their names? Why will some people eventually develop something such as Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer’s? Why are some people able to crash two Corvettes in a year and have money to spare to buy a third one and pay for the sky high insurance? Why must some people work three jobs just to exist? Why are some people able to just burn and incinerate money like firewood and have more money to to burn up? Why do some people lose it all? Why do people have nothing to lose? See, I could continue on for eternity this way.

People say overcoming adversity brings new life. That may be true. However, for every one story of someone overcoming adversity, there’s 1000 others who just didn’t make it. Don’t believe me? Go take a drive through the impoverished areas of your local city and look around. Dilapidated housing projects. People standing on the corner with no direction. A boy with drugs in his pocket running across the street to make his next sale. Lost. Hopeless. You can feel the desperation creeping through your tightly rolled up windows. From birth, they didn’t stand a chance. Wrong place at the wrong time. Lack of ambition? Maybe. Lack of hope, a thing they don’t even know exists? Sure.

Yet, the real issue at hand isn’t the questions after the interrogative. It is rather interrogative itself.

The “why” of these things happen is a loaded question. It all depends on what you believe in.

If you subscribe to the Buddhist worldview, fortune is attained by good karma from your last reincarnation. If you were a good person in the grand scheme of the universe in your last life, you are now dealt a favorable hand from birth in this life. If you have a terrible hand in this life, then you were undoubtedly an evil son-of-a-bitch in your last life and you are now paying dearly for it.

If you subscribe to the Hindu worldview (depending on which sect), then Brahman (or his many variations) created you and you are tempted by good and evil, bad luck and good luck constantly to determine your karma in this life (dependent on sect, but this is the mainstream polytheistic version).

If you subscribe to the Christian and Muslim worldviews, then God/Allah is responsible for your fortune. God/Allah gave you these things in life because he knew that you were strong enough to deal with it and it will make you a better person. Additionally, your troubles in life can be lessened if you pray to God/Allah and praise him for all your days. Pray to the man in the sky and it will be alright.

If you are a nihilist, then nothing matters because we all die anyway so we can cry and sob all we want but it does not change the finality of death.

If you are a deist, then a higher power made the world sent it spinning and did not touch it at all and fortune is just chance.

I have a problem with pretty much all of these worldviews, especially those that are dependent on deities. I just feel like it seems like all the people who have all the fortune in the world don’t know what to do with it. However, there is a chance that if you are sitting here reading this, you have much better fortune than someone else. But why must this disproportion even exist? Why can’t we all be sitting here on our computers reading blogs? Is there actually a proportion to the amount of good luck and bad luck in the universe? Is the total sum of good luck and bad luck equal, just like the law of the conservation of energy? Perhaps. I don’t know. Until the underlying forces of the universe reveal themselves to me, I will never know why. I will most likely die before I reach a conclusion.

I guess we’ll all have to do the best with what we have, even if it is more or less than others.

Sometimes though, our best just simply isn’t good enough. For anyone.

– Scotia