Unfortunate Events

Amount in unjust tickets I have received in the last 3 months: $1,478 (bankrupt and/or corrupt governments steal from citizens because they have to and because they can)

Some explanations to take the sting out:

-How you would react if someone had actually robbed you, like a gun or knife-point? You’d simply hand over the money and be glad it didn’t end badly. You wouldn’t go around whining about the injustice of it all.

-That awesome thing you got to do for free but thought, man if I had paid for that, I totally would have gotten my money’s worth. Well, you just did.

-Some of the best stories are about times when something unfortunate happened, something you thought was unfair/scary/unbearable/ridiculous at the time. You’ll find it funny later, so skip the intermediate step and find it funny now.

-Can you afford it? Yes. Then shut up, that’s why you make lots of money—to make these inconvenient things just go away.

-If they’d increased your taxes X%, you’d have given the government the same amount of money but not noticed. You know that’s why they’re putting up speed trap cameras and selectively enforcing the laws—because they’re broke. What does it matter what form or with what bogus pretense it leaves your pocket and goes into theirs?

True, it would make anyone bitter and disaffected. But you can’t be. You have to live your life. Isn’t it bad enough that they stole from you—shook you down and abused their trust? Do you have to seethe with rage for weeks afterward too? No, see that part is your choice. They started it, they did the wrong, but you decide when that ends. You decide how far it goes, whether the unfortunate event is a forgettable blip or a black hole of anger.

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.