In the link above, I feel I may have found the middle-aged, male version of myself. In this piece for Cracked, comedy/horror writer David Wong, explains why simply “being you” isn’t good enough.
Oh, you’re a nice guy? You’re an honest person? You have an inherent sense of empathy? Well that’s all good and dandy, but no one gives a shit about who you are — they only care about what you do and what you can do for them.
As Wong puts it (and apparently also Jesus): who you are “is the metaphorical dirt from which your fruit grows.” And no one cares about your dirt. Wong argues that our self worth is measured only by the things we produce to satisfy the needs of others — our fruit. If you have no fruit, you have nothing, and to the outside world, you are nothing.
Wong takes the complaint “being good guy isn’t good enough” and utterly destroys it. No one cares how good of a person you are or how pure your heart is or how much you “care.” What are you doing in your life to prove you possess all these self-proclaimed character traits? What are you doing to prove you’re a “good guy” other than sitting on your ass in your crap apartment and not being a nuisance to society? Being a “good guy” should never be enough for anyone. No one should sell themselves so short. Also, a note from me, not Wong: If you actually have to tell yourself you’re a good person, you’re doing it wrong.
Another key point Wong makes is that misery is comfortable and happiness takes effort. You hate yourself because you don’t do anything, but you don’t do anything because you’re scared of rejection, of failure, of putting yourself out there at the risk of being shot down. Doing nothing is easier. Being miserable and cursing at the mirror every morning is easier. This is why you dig for excuses not to change. This is why you criticize the work and accomplishments of others who are clearly happier than you. This is why you suck and need to make a change.
*note: If you lack the attention span to read Wong’s entire article, skip to No. 2 on the second page.