The Good Guys

As kids, we were taught to become good people be kind to others, be hardworking, be selfless, give more and take less. We were told that the good always wins in the end. Those that are more practical and realistic learn to adapt, to become more street smart, learn to consider one’s own gains and pleasure. We become cleverer, more crafty, permitting ourselves to dance around this grey area between being shrewd and conniving. We convince ourselves that this “being a good person” ideology  is simply one of those bureaucratic subjects that we had to learn growing up given the existing education system. We also often choose to believe that we are simply playing by the rules of the game of survival for the fittest, and that this is the path to succeeding. As we grow up, the phrase “the good guy” and “a nice person” start to carry negative stereotypes in various context and are very rarely applied with its literal meaning.

As far as I can remember, the words “naïve” and “trusting” have been used to describe those showing  a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment, and never that genuine state of natural and unaffected. This innocence, the unstoppable faith in the goodness in people and the drive towards the high and noble principles in life, continuing to fuel our human ability to dream and create, to push the world to explore beyond limits. The world, however, seems to conveniently exploiting such abundant positivity, taking it for granted.

Unfortunately,  as the cycle of exploitation continues, the inherent altruism becomes deleterious to the innocents. Always treating others’ well-being as their number one priority, while they themselves usually barely made it to that same list. And they are left with two choices, either continuing to absorb the negativity, disappointments, deficiencies of the world or learning to plot for survival, just like everyone else.

Naiveté doesn’t seem to have much of a place left, diminishing, expurgated, losing the battle against this reality. I wonder, if it is absolutely necessary for everyone to gain “an edge”? Should everyone learn to be cunning at times eventually?

To my understanding, “growing up” means failing, learning, and moving on, not to become a deceiving opportunist and foregoing one’s best quality, especially at the price of authenticity which very few possesses to begin with.

May the inevitable losses and pain be ephemeral to the idealists and the compassionate, and that the good guys will in fact win this game against the miscreant, as we were taught.