I have come to a simple conclusion. We are ALL assholes. Everyone of us. Men, women, children alike. Assholes.
This may immediately evoke an emotion similar to me urinating in your coffee but hear me out. Or not. I couldn’t particularly give a shit.
What authority do I have to make such a pompous accusation? I am blessed (and cursed) with a supremely active brain and colourful imagination. I’m intelligent most days, socially aware and a sucker for detail. But mostly, I’m an idealistic enigma of an asshole with years of experience.
IT’S EASIER TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS THAN PERMISSION!
An article like this may seem a dramatic departure from the more inspiring tone I’ve written with in previous blog posts but that’s just my point: As a warm-blooded human, I operate both ends of the spectrum with authority.
Therefore, if this article offends you in any way then I’d like to apologize in advance by saying the following: ”Please accept my most humble apologies you double-dealing, pretentious hypocrite!”
I can already hear the vicious, self-righteous criticism coming at me in vast telepathic waves… What has gotten into Mark Sham? Why is he writing like this? The truth is, I’m simply leveling with you as a human being and pointing out that this spade is indeed a proverbial spade. Take note.
WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?
I was raised by God fearing parents who tried to teach me to do all the good I could in this world and that is a mentality I strive for to this day. My parents are assholes in their own right but they did their best and this is why I’ll put them in a nice old age home.
I am by nature an idealist. I live life based on the pictures I see in my mind’s eye. Generally, these pictures are beautiful and filled with exquisite detail. The more I focus on them, the more they become a reality. Momentum breeds momentum and this process has led me to doing some amazing things thus far.
I am also by nature, a creator. I don’t seem to have that boundary in my head that says I can’t do something. I have a high self-efficacy mentality; it’s the only way I know how. I do have a very real sense of my limits but I also know that you can pretty much get around the most complicated of problems if you really want to.
These two character traits combine well. I never want to stop being like this or living like this.
Yet for all my sins, I am naughty. Incredibly naughty. Diabolically naughty. Pick any adjective you want naughty. And a terrible liar. I couldn’t even try hide how naughty I am if I tried. I can’t begin to tell you about the mischievous things I’ve done. I can’t explain why even though I know it’s wrong, it still excites me. I don’t know where it came from. I just know it’s been like this since I first opened my eyes.
I don’t think it comes down to a lack of self-discipline or self-control. When I put my mind to something, I can become the most anal human being in the world. And I really do believe in God. I think this world is too beautiful for it all to come together via random nothingness with no purpose. And if I’m wrong, we are all fucked anyway. I’ll save discussing this theory in greater detail for another time. And yes, I just said “fuck”. Don’t be a judgmental prick.
These two extremes leave me in a rather large pickle. I have toiled over this “Jeckyll & Hyde” phenomena I seem to suffer from for quite some time. How can someone who wants such good things also think and do such bad things? You could argue that it’s just the folly of youth but all I’ve really managed to do as I’ve gotten older is suppress the madness; the evil in my head still very much exists.
IT’S ALL SO INTERESTING, ISN’T IT!
It seems to me that people somehow build this hierarchical system of what wrong is worse than the next and they generally associate the bad to the things they’d least like someone to do to them or those close to them! God alone knows why some things bug you and why you tolerate others. Why that skirt is trashy but this dress is sexy. Why the one guy is bad ass and the other is a douche. But ya, based on that flimsy process, we judge the masses as to whether they’re good or bad people.
There are a million examples. For whatever reason, cheating may really be a big deal to you but sleeping around when you’re single isn’t. Maybe it’s far less “trivial” than that… Perhaps texting on your cellphone while driving means nothing to you but to someone who lost a loved one in a car accident because someone wasn’t concentrating on the road while texting is everything.
Ultimately, whether you’re an ax murderer or you’re that guy who once stole a colleague’s sweet treat from the company fridge, we’re all messed up. I’m not even trying to say these two people are on the same level but then again that’s probably because I was born with an appreciation for life so taking someone else’s is inconceivable. But make no mistake, the guy who took my Kit Kat that day is still an asshole!
AM I THE MINORITY?
Not a fuck.
What I am is the ultimate market researcher of people. I have an innate ability to make most people feel comfortable and get them to let their guard down. It’s not necessarily something I do on purpose although I’m consciously aware now more than ever that I’m good at it. But it still happens naturally more than anything and I generally keep the information people share with me to myself because I don’t really like people sharing my personal secrets. There’s that hierarchical system at play again!
More to the point, if I were to write a book about the all sordid secrets I’ve been told by others over the years, your eyes would pop out. If I were to tell you some of the things the most “well behaved” people have done, you would look at me with sheer disbelief. But the fact that you’d be shocked is quite ironic in itself because you are just as faulty… And broken. You, me and the horse you rode in on. We’re all assholes.
You could argue that birds of a feather flock together; that people with similar ideals and mindsets will associate to each other. And that may be somewhat true but definitely not absolute.
My earliest memory is of my very self-righteous grandmother talking about her neighbour and what filth he was because he had long hair, slept “kaalgat” (this means “naked” should I have any international assholes reading this) and owned a sword. As it turns out grandmother dear, my best friends are as messed up as I am but they’re also as good a people as I’ve ever met. And some of the best people I’ve ever met turn out to be the most faulty.
SO WHAT NOW?
I don’t really have the ultimate answer and neither do you. If you’re still reading it’s probably because you’re as intrigued with this topic as I am. Or maybe you just can’t wait for this article to finish so you can really give me a piece of your mind! So be it.
That said, the last thing I want to do is rant like an absolute maniac without offering some sort of solution or personal anecdote.
All I know is that when I do make the mistakes I make, I’m super harsh on myself and as ugly as it feels at the time, that’s the way it’s got to be. My biggest motivation to do good things comes after I’ve done something bad. I certainly don’t need the world to tell me what a douche I was.
I do think it’s a slippery slope downhill the day you start to totally accept that you do bad things and so be it. What stops you from turning into the ax murderer from there? You’ve got to come down hard on yourself when you veer away from doing good things. But never fool yourself, as much good as you may do, you will always have asshole tendencies. The biggest asshole is one who doesn’t think he’s an asshole.
So really, just don’t judge. I’m not saying you have to tolerate every bad thing every asshole does because the entire moral system would collapse. Perhaps just be somewhat sympathetic toward the asshole at the same time. You never quite know when the roles are gonna reverse…
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MARK’s MICROPHONE!
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