Sunday, October 23, 2005

The meek

I'm really not sure if there is karma in life. I don't think the meek shall inherit the earth either: the gentle and the meek are trotted on by the boots of the ruthless and the self-absorbed. I don't think happiness has anything do to with whether you deserve it or not. People who are self-centered and amoral tends to be a whole lot happier than people who lay down their life for others and bear others' burdens. The most professionally successful people are often those with the cutthroat mentality and those who can practice selective amnesia on the times when they have used and hurt others. This is NOT to say that I have any desire to become one of these people. In fact, I don't think I even can. It's just not me. But I'm starting to recognize that being a loving person has very high costs. Whenever you invest your compassion and care onto others, you risk grief and heartbreak and disappointment.
I guess the only way to end grief is to live through it and allow yourself to experience it. One can cling onto family and friends, or drown herself in alcohol or other forms of temporary amnesia. But if one allows herself to live through it, and really own her grief, in the end, she would at least have the satisfaction that she used her own innner resources to live through the experience.


Blogger mamis said...

Quick anecdote:

I joined Microsoft after graduating Harvard. A guy who was the year ahead of me, who was a total jerk in school, was in my group at MSFT. Let's call him B.

In 1992 a guy in a wheelchair joined our group on B's team. The guy had a tough time. MSFT is a "sink or swim" place, and this guy was sinking. When you're sinking you're supposed to ask your team leader for help. B was not helpful. So I and others would help this guy any time he asked.

One day I overhear an argument. B is chastising a co-worker for helping. The guy says, "But B, I was only trying to help him." And B says, "I don't want him helped! I want him fired!"

The guy quit a few months later. B retired in 2002, a multi-millionaire, VP, and member of Bill Gates's inner circle.

I have not kept in touch with B, and I don't know what's in his heart. Maybe he's miserably unhappy.

But from what I've heard from mutual acquaintances, I don't think so. I think he's just self-centered and amoral, to use your phrase.

Anyway, this has been a long way of saying, I agree with you.

2:12 PM  
Blogger starbender said...

What great advice! :)

3:42 PM  

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