We picked up our political beliefs somewhere. From books we read, from how we grew up, from what we’ve seen in the world. We got started in our industry for so many reasons–luck, a natural inclination, because the money seemed good.
And now that we’re older, now that we’ve been doing this away, had these opinions for a while, it’s worth stopping to ask a question: Are you sure you’re one of the good guys? Are you sure you’re on the right side of things? That’s what the boy asked in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. “Are we still the good guys?” he asks his dad. It’s the boy’s sweetness, his insistence on doing the right and kind thing, despite the darkness of the world, that keeps the father from spiraling into despair or cruelty.
Are you the good guys? Or have you curdled along with your political party? Have you been corrupted by your industry? Have you grown callous and indifferent with all the responsibilities and stresses of life? Are you too busy worrying about your mortgage and your golf game to care about other people? Are you too far down the road to change? To question? To see things from a new perspective?
The good news is that you have a boy like that in your own life. Your kids are a wonderful source of innocence and purity. They see things with fresh eyes. They are not yet jaded. They are also, as we’ve said before, a kind of warrant. Why should you change? Why should you be one of the good guys? For them. Help them carry the fire. Give them hope. Give them a model.
Be one of the good guys.
The e-book edition of The Daily Stoic is now on sale on Amazon US for $1.99, and deeply discounted on Amazon UK as well. It’s designed to be read one page per day—a perfect way to start the new year. Check it out here.