Life As One of Them

Look at the crap you tolerate from other people. For so many reasons: because they don’t know any better, because they’re a friend, because it’s not worth making an issue. Now subtract out the offenses you’ve been guilty of yourself. Take what is left over and consider it equity you’ve stored up, what the world would let you get away with if you felt so inclined.

How much easier would it be going through life taking advantage of this buffer? We would have so much less to worry about with that sword cleared out from above our head. To live life like a profligate who understands they’d never let him starve.

Why don’t we do this? Because we know that what he has coming to him is rarely poetic, rather everyday “a disease..a plague…a cancer,” that eats away at them by giving them everything they’ve ever wanted. The torture of being awful but unaware of it. The butt of an unsaid joke. The silent example of what not to be.

When you look at what people do, how they act and take advantage of others, see what it does to them as people. Don’t wait for karmic justice. It isn’t coming. It’s already there. You didn’t choose this path because of the deterrents to the alternative. It was the remunerative incentives, the first of which was the capability for this introspection.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.