Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Harsh Truths

From Cracked.com: 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person.

This is not a nice article. It is harsh and cold and really quite unfriendly. It won't hold your hand and tell you that you're a special unique snowflake that the world doesn't know how to appreciate. It is, however, capable of making you a better person in some very specific ways. It's not what everyone needs to hear. Some people - I'm thinking particularly of the chronically depressed who have actual brain chemistry problems - will not be able to act on its advice without medical help. If, however, you are one of those people who is simply waiting for the world to throw you a parade for being a really nice person, you might want to read it.

It is a deeply pragmatic article, talking about what the world values in you. Hint: it isn't (usually) your positivity or the list of vices you don't have. If your main contribution to the world is the bad things you don't do, then you are on par with a store mannequin. You do nothing, it does nothing. You're both letting the world become worse on its own, and anything you can provide by avoiding doing bad, so can the mannequin.

That quote from the Dalai Lama that says "If you can't do anything good, at least don't do anything evil" is terrible, from this point of view. If you literally can do nothing at all good where you are with what you have, then you also lack imagination. There's a 90-year-old woman at our church who is capable of doing almost nothing but decorating coat hangers to sell and raise money for the church. She does that.

The central lesson of the article is this: the world values what you do, not who you are.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Unless you're riding the momentum of celebrity.
PPS - That is, remaining famous because you're already famous.

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