OK, completely different subject, though I’m completely with you on the rude people in theaters…
The word “Fair.”
I had a conversation not too long ago with one of my Marines, who spent considerable time and effort explaining how there were many things that are not “fair.” He mentioned that some people get choice assignments while others continue endlessly through the deployment cycle, how some people always seem to end up with the “s**t jobs” while others come up smelling like roses every time, etc etc ad nauseum. I let him work himself up into a good old fashioned whining and complaining roll, then cut him off with:
“You’re right. It’s NOT fair. I don’t WANT it to be fair, and neither should you.”
Taking his silence as consent to continue, I followed up. The rest isn’t verbatim, but close:
The Marine Corps, much like life, is not fair. It’s not supposed to be fair. It’s a meritocracy. Some people keep getting the “good” jobs, while others continually find themselves with the thankless drudgery. There is a reason for this. The country was built on the premise, among other premises, that you can achieve anything you want to, provided you put the effort in and possess the skill and work ethic required. Some of us may never be Olympic atheletes, but we can darn sure spend our lives striving toward that level of performance and it would be a life well spent in that regard. Nobody, however, is going to walk up and hand you a choice assigment or dream job. You make your own luck.
The people who get the choice assignments are the ones who have done one very simple thing - they proved they could handle it. They earned it. They took one of the “s**t jobs” and made it something effective. They made their mark everywhere they went. Therefore, when the time came for selection for the next good job, their name was at the head of the list.
I don’t WANT life to be fair. If it were, I would have an equal chance as anyone and everyone else. I WANT my unfair advantage, because I’ve worked damn hard to get it. I want my kids, whenever they come along, to have to compete for every advantage possible, because I want them to know the value of earning it. I want them to play team sports in which a winner and loser is decided by performance, and score is kept. I want my Marines to understand that they will not get an award just for “being there,” that they will not get a choice assignment for doing the military equivalent of punching the clock and nothing else.
You want a good job? Become a proven performer. You want more money? Get educated, work harder than the next person.
I WANT life to remain unfair. It’s how the opportunity to excel comes about. If everyone wins, nobody wins.
OK, I’m off the soapbox.