There has been one aspect of being tough that has been hard for me to cope with– finding sympathy for weak people. The tougher I got, the less toughness I saw in other people. And I reached a peak where it felt like I was the only one to be at where I was. And I was so desperate to not lose the “power” that I had gained, that whenever I saw other weak people, I was disgusted and afraid that their weakness would poison me.
However, after doing some introspection, I had realized that I was becoming something that I told myself I never would become– my father. My father was very tough and unrelenting. He hated weakness, stupidity, or anything of the sort. And although I knew that he was like this all along, when I tried to become tougher, and when I finally did, I was blind to the fact that I was becoming the same as my father.
It shed a lot of light as to why my father was the way he was, but also a lot of light in how wrong I was to think that I should despise people that are weak. However, just learning this was not enough.
Whenever I see someone who has everything given to them, who is ungrateful, and then finds the audacity to complain about their lives, who tells me that “They can’t do it”, after never having tried, who tells me that they don’t know how to do something when they have never actually tried.
I remember when I was working out with a friend of mine, and we working out our arms, and we working on the cable machines. I moved the cable up, so that I could do a workout that was part of the routine we were doing. And as I finished my set, and went on to complete the next set, I look back at my friend, and I realized that he was only doing one set, as opposed to two. We had to do one where the cable was on the ground, and one where the cable was moved up. He only did the one where the cable was up.
When he came back, I asked him, “Did you do the first set?”
He replies to me, “I don’t know how to move it”.
That pissed me off. What the fuck do you mean you don’t know how? Did you even try to move it?(he didn’t by the way). I hate helplessness, it is the bane of my existence. People that give up before ever trying is probably at the top of my list of things that I hate.
That moment of weakness that he showed, pissed me off.
In order to solve my problem, I tried talking to friends, but in the end it was a problem that I would have to solve by myself, and find a solution that I would intellectually be able to agree with. The main obstacle that disallowed me to sympathize was the fact that I know that there is always a choice to be tougher, a choice to be smarter, a choice to be uncomfortable to become a better person. And I also know that when it comes to them, when they have everything given to them, where they do not need to worry about food or shelter, and yet they waste their time, I feel as though that is an unforgivable sin. But even past all that, I was able to find common ground that will allow me to direct my anger in a correct way, and be able to find sympathy.
I have sympathy for those that are in crappy situations that they have no control over, but those that do, that is what pissed me off, and in order to find sympathy, I realized one thing.
I should not hate the person, I should hate their weakness. It is a simple, but an effectively profound change. This small distinction will allow me to direct my anger away from them, and instead, work with them to dispel the weakness that they have. And in my mind, I can look at them as people who are infected with the disease called weakness, and I can find sympathy, because they are trapped in their own world and beliefs.
It may not be the best option, but it is a great start, I believe.
It’s that simple,