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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Self promotion, Self denial, and Self destruction.

I am constantly amazed at how much of our childhood teachings we carry into our adult life.
As a child I was taught that bragging, boasting, and the act of self promoting was something "bad" people do. An honest man should not have to embark on such self serving behaviors. To this day, I have difficulty passing any kind of oral interview where I need to "sell" myself. To be honest, I am angry at this behavior of mine. I have realized that in order to get ahead in this dog-eat-dog world you have to be able to promote yourself. However this fact angers me as well.

My parents raised my siblings and I with the old fashion mindsets that you win when you put in an honest day's work for an honest day's wage, work as if you are working for God himself, never be deceitful in any way, and your work will speak for itself. Are these mindsets dead today? This battle between self promotion and self denial is enough to bring about self destruction or, at least I think so. I work hard, yet I never attain the heights that the deceivers do. I become tempted to join them in their tactics which creates an inner conflict with my "old fashion" morals. This internal struggle goes on day and night for me. Either choice means I must compromise something that I do not want to compromise. I want to stay true to my convictions but I also want to be successful. For the life of me, I can find my way clear of this moral maze. Lie and win, be honest and lose. I am starting to think that no one really cares about this struggle. "Get ahead in life no matter what it takes" seems to be the party line these days. I can not do that. I continue to sacrifice my needs and choose self denial. I am constantly "sucking hind tit" so to speak and therefore am resigned to remain the runt in life, or at least that is how I feel. So I guess the choice is to be a runt that remains founded on conviction, or become a corn feed pig that selfishly pushes others away.

The choice sometimes is easy. Especially when I see the corn feed pigs go to the slaughter house of cooperate world and be consumed by their own vices. Greed, selfishness, mean spirited, low self image based behaviors seemed to always catch up with its users. The pursuit to the top only ends up with one direction, down. And when that time comes for the descent, what is left for those who sold out for the pursuit? Why do so many sell out and compromise so much for something that they can not hold onto? Why do we debase those who choose wholeness and self denial. Why do so many piss on the ones who value those old fashion traits we all act like we value?

It seems to me, that at some point both paths will have to face the demon of self destruction. The self promoters will face this demon when they finish the race with an empty chest that once held all that was good in them. The self denial crowd will face this demon constantly as the world spurns their efforts to do the right thing for the right reasons. Those who have compromised internal value for achievement will chase away the guilt they are faced with when they look at those who refuse to compromise such internal values. Those who have held tightly to those internal values will chase away regret when they are faced with the achievements of the others. Maybe I am just a "ding" and I am the only one with such a struggle, but I fear that this is not the case. I have no idea which path I will choose tomorrow, but I do know that the choice ahead scares me.



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