I've had a very interesting couple of weeks. I took a job, which is temporary throughout the winter, moving heavy freight and delivering it. It can be viciously hard work moving a 500 pound gun safe up or down a steep staircase but it is also interesting.
Imagine spending the better part of 25 years as a cop. Virtually everyone I talked to was never happy to see me. Cops deliver a stream of bad news. We aren't Welcome Wagon. Realistically speaking, that experience skewed my view of the world. I began to feel as though the world was full of assholes. It was the anti-thesis of the Stockholm Syndrome.
Everyone is happy to see me now. I am bringing them some new toy. Maybe it's a gun safe, a new bed, a giant plasma tv, or some other hideously large item.
I have always said that one in ten people are assholes. Those numbers have remained constant throughout my working and private life. In the old life it was true- in the new life- it is true also. That has been my observation.
This past week, I delivered about ten items per day. On three days, I ran into three assholes. What did the three have in common?
All three of them were educated and well off. Their homes or ranches were all in the 600k plus category. They seemed annoyed by my presence. Like I was inconveniencing them by showing up with whatever they had ordered. No amount of being nice to these people works. You cannot rehab an asshole. On one occasion, I paid a compliment to one of them on a very uniquely carved interior wall of their home. He told me he didn't like the wall and then made a couple more diminishing remarks that apparently his ego demanded that he make in order to reassure himself of his superiority.
Make other people feel bad so that you can feel better. It is a form of mental illness. In the old days, I let people like that have both barrels. When they took a cheap shot, I put a torpedo in the water.
You know what happens? I always feel bad after igniting a flame war. Wisdom is the art of losing and realizing that you are really winning. I am mastering the art of losing and I gotta tell ya, it feels like winning.
Some people are just miserable. Perhaps they are stressed out, failing, insecure, or maybe they have some wall that their deceased wife just had to have and it cost a fortune to carve. I don't know. The good news is that I don't need to know.
In fact, I used to be one of those people. In my most most depressed days- I'm not sure I could have mustered enough where with all to come off like a decent human being. What I am saying is this. I used to be one of the "one in ten."
Today I have learned not to take anything personally. I accept that one in ten people, for a littany of reasons, is going to behave like an asshole. That has nothing to do with me. These people present growth opportunities. They force you to learn, to develop counter solutions, and to learn that often in life the answer for many mysteries is nothing more than acceptance and trying something new.
Sometimes you must give up to win. That is the art of losing. That type of wisdom does not come easy. Imagine our government saying- this drug war thing isn't working. We should give up and try something different- maybe even legalizing drugs. Can you imagine that? Government does not possess that type of wisdom. Every problem is a nail. Government will never be anything more than a hammer. They might as well sell every other tool in the box because they will never need them.
It's been an interesting month. Meeting people without a badge on. It is an amazing thing to see people happy when you show up. It's like a whole different world for me. The contrast is amazing- it almost makes the job worthwhile. Well, except for pushing 500 pound gun safes up hideously steep staircases.