Becoming a better person doesn’t have to be such a chore, depending on how low you set the bar. At least that’s the theory. I mean, when you start out as low as I did, improvement can be a piece of cake.
To use a fiscal metaphor, my karma balance is perpetually underwater after a lifetime of deficit spending. Don’t get me wrong; I do occasionally try to be a better person. It’s just not very high on my list of priorities.
The only problem with that sort of strategy is that it tends to wear thin on those who have to put up with you day in and day out. Those of you who know me personally know exactly what I’m talking about.
At some point they reach the end of their rope and, take my word for it, you don’t want to be around when that happens. Especially when it’s your significant whatever or, in my case, Kim.
It always ends up going something like this:
Kim: Oh my god, you don’t even realize what a dick you are!
Me: Sure I do. I know I’m a dick.
Kim: Then why don’t you ever change?
Me: Aw, come on, that’s not fair. You know how hard I try to be a better person.
Kim: Yeah. We’ll put that on your tombstone.
And so on. Actually I’m probably leaving out a few expletives here and there.
Here’s the thing. I’m selfish. I know I am. Of course it took years of marriage and therapy to get to the point where my self awareness is at least close to reality, but that’s all water under the bridge. Maybe a river is more like it.
I suppose the good news is at least I’m not phony about it. I don’t have to do the virtue signaling thing or act like I’m here to make the world a better place. I know that all starts with how you treat the people around you and I know exactly where I stand in that respect. So there is that.
Maybe that’s why I find identity politics and our woke culture so damned annoying. It’s disingenuous. It’s hypocritical. And I think that being a selfish dick and acting like you’re all woke and wonderful is way worse than just owning it.
Image credit: Screen shot, Silicon Valley, HBO