There’s an issue in society at large where people are looking outward for their personal value. They don’t care about the work they do or what they contribute as long as others think highly of them. That’s one of the reasons why slacktivism even became a thing: there’s no reason to actually make a change in the world or contribute anything as long as people like you for thinking or believing the right things. It’s literally only about what they think of you. Virtue signaling is just another phrase for deriving value from what others think, not from what you do and as we see through Canada’s, Sweden’s, and the UK’s self destruction, it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do to society.
I know I’ve always been a sort of oddball and preferred to do what I wanted versus what I was told or what would make me popular. I don’t think I could be popular even if I tried because I have a hard time faking who I am if I’m being me. Rarely is it easy. Doing what I wanted often came with punishments for disobedience, but I still learned what was right and wrong. I also learned not to care when someone didn’t like what I was doing; discard their opinion. Nowadays I work to a beat of a different drum, either in my writing or in the way I operate at work, and see the value in my work and I feel confident enough to ask others to acknowledge or evaluate my value if they try to ignore doing it.
It’s tough because you don’t follow the trends, so you’re less popular, but I think you spearhead voices, movements, designs–you’re a creator, a creative leader, regardless of field, because you’re problem-solving, designing, and innovating in whatever work you’re doing. Not everything you do will be amazing, but at least you recognize the value in trying to build something new, in creating something new, and in finding value in your work and not in what others think of you.
I don’t look for work that would make me notorious. I don’t look for work that would make me popular, but I look for work that I enjoy, that I think I can excel at (even if I’m not the best), and that I look forward to doing more of.
These people who demand representation don’t know what they want, but they recognize they have little to no skill. They don’t care about doing a good job or bringing up new leaders or even offering anything into the world in quiet. They likely see little value in the work, and all the value in the title. The respect is in the title, mate. So they demand themselves be given a position because “muh representation,” then they can pretend to be a spokesperson for some collective group they belong to–it’s all part of the scam. If they didn’t claim representation, then there’d be no point in demanding special recognitions for sex, race, orientation, or whatever.
What’s more, they use this ‘representative’ to dismiss their inaction or bad behaviors. “This doll represents our values. We’re craft the story to go with her and anything that deviates from what this representative we create isn’t a real one of us. Don’t judge us individually. The bad of others should be ignored because this doll is what it really means to be xyz.”
It’s lazy and it’s wrong.
Call me crazy, but I believe individuals should be held responsible or praised for their individual works. There’s a reason politicians lie so much; it doesn’t matter the actual work they do, so long as they say the right thing at the right time to get your opinion of them high. People aren’t held accountable for their work anymore. It’s all about whether they’re likeable in the right way or not and it leads me to believe it’s one of the reasons the left doesn’t care about evidence anymore (other than the fact they cause self-inflicted hate crimes and have no evidence. They just want to be victims, mkay?)
Instead of teaching your children they need to see someone else ascend in order to ascend, instead of teaching them there’s value in the title they hold, teach them the value is in the work they do. The value they offer has absolutely nothing to do with their title. There are useless and extraordinary people in every industry. By encouraging your children to fight to break a glass ceiling that doesn’t exist, you’re setting them up to fail. Rather than teaching them the value of training for the race, running the course, and taking pride in finishing, you’re teaching them the only thing that matters is crossing that line by any means necessary. If that means using your car for the race? So be it. Everyone will respect you for ‘completing’ the track.
I know this is already an unbearably long blog–and I’ll try to keep them shorter in the future… But recently I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand–and I know there’s a lot of trash that goes back and forth about her and her beliefs. I also know I’ve seen discussions where people think her ideas were so juvenile. “You can’t just be you and do your thing! That’s way selfish!” What’s selfish about valuing your work and being proud of what you do? I’m not sure I ever understood the arguments against valuing your work and doing the jobs you enjoy, but I digress.
I think there are a lot of important passages in The Fountainhead which highlight what’s wrong with people today and why there’s so much deception, depression, nihilism. Let me know what you think:
Page 604-605: A conversation between Gail Wynand and Howard Roark
“What have you been thinking about these past weeks?”
“The principle behind the dean who fired me from Staton.”
“The thing that is destroying the world. The thing you were talking about. Actual selfishness.”
“The ideal which they say does not exist?”
“They’re wrong. It does exist–though not in the way they imagine. It’s what I couldn’t understand about people for a long time. They have no self. They live within others. They live second-hand. look at Peter Keating.”
“You look at him. I hate his guts.”
“I’ve looked at him–at what’s left of him–and it’s helped me understand. He’s paying the price and wondering for what sin and telling himself that he’s been too selfish. In what act or thought of his has there ever been a self? What was his aim in life? Greatness–in other people’s eyes. Fame, admiration, envy–all that which comes from others. Others dictated his convictions, which he did not hold, but he was satisfied that others believed he held them. Others were his motive power and his prime concern. He didn’t want to be great, but to be thought great. He didn’t want to build, but to be admired as a builder. He borrowed from others in order to make an impression on others. There’s your actual selfishness. It’s his ego he’s betrayed and given up. But everybody calls him selfish.”
“That’s the pattern most people follow.”
“Yes! And isn’t that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he’s honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he’s great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison. The man whose sole aim is to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose–to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury–he’s completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others. They’re second-handers. Look at our so-called cultural endeavors. A lecturer who spouts some borrowed rehash of nothing at all that means nothing at all to him–and the people who listen and don’t give a damn, but sit there in order to tell their friends that they have attended a lecture by a famous name. All second-handers.”
“Notice how they’ll accept anything except a man who stands alone. They recognize him at once. By instinct. There’s a special, insidious kind of hatred for him. They forgive criminals. They admire dictators. Crime and violence are a tie. A form of mutual dependence. They need ties. They’ve got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet. The independent man kills them–because they don’t exist within him and that’s the only form of existence they know. Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man. Look back at your own life, Howard, and at the people you’ve met. They know. They’re afraid. You’re a reproach.”
“That’s because some sense of dignity always remains in them. They’re still human beings. But they’ve been taught to seek themselves in others. Yet no man can achieve the kind of absolute humanity that would need no self-esteem in any form. He wouldn’t survive. So after centuries of being pounded with the doctrine that altruism is the ultimate ideal, men have accepted it in the only way it could be accepted. By seeking self-esteem through others. By living second-hand. And it has opened the way for every kind of horror. It has become the dreadful form of selfishness which a truly selfish man couldn’t have conceived. And now, to cure a world perishing from selflessness, we’re asked to destroy the self. Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he’d find the answer. He’d see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He’s not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander’s delusion–prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can’t say about a single thing: ‘This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me.’ Then he wonders why he’s unhappy. Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing. To seek joy in meeting halls. We haven’t even got a word for the quality I mean–for the self-sufficiency of man’s spirit. It’s difficult to call it selfishness or egotism, the words have been perverted, they’ve come to mean Peter Keating. Gail, I think the only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men.”