The Best Teacher

The only true fool is the fool who refuses to learn.

One of my personal favorite lines from movies is a rarely-quoted line from The Godfather: “I refused to be a fool, dancing on a string held by all those big shots.” The rest of the quote is meaningful, too.

Refusing to be a fool. That’s how I’ve been since I was a child, long before I first saw The Godfather. I wasn’t inspired by that quote, I just realized it was a perfect articulation of who I’ve always been. When I was a child, I wanted to live my whole life without committing a single sin, to prove that not everybody is sinful (I was raised Christian). But as I got older, even before I became an atheist, my desire to never sin evolved into a desire to simply be the best person I could be.

I wanted to be better. I refused to be a degenerate, I refused to be a criminal, I refused to be ignorant. I refused to be a fool.

I already knew I could never be perfect. One thing Christianity makes certain that you understand is that nobody is perfect; wisdom that applies even if you’re not a Christian. But even though I always knew I could never be perfect, I knew it was worth trying, anyway. Like reaching the end of infinity: You can never get to the end, but you can always go farther than you were before.

I’m the youngest of my siblings, at least of the ones I’ve met. All my siblings shaped me in their own way, in the sense that they made mistakes on my behalf. What they all have in common is being hot-headed; it does not take very much to get any of them to start shouting, flinging their arms around, slamming doors, and breaking things. As the youngest, I always looked at their behavior and told myself, “I don’t want to be anything like that.”

Then, there are my bio-parents themselves. When you combine all of their behaviors, what you get an ugly picture. Between my bio-parents and siblings, three of them abandoned their offspring, four of them have tempers, two of them play victim to not be held responsible for doing shitty things, three of them physically harm people to make them do what they want, two of them are pathological liars, and the list goes on and on, including far more serious actions. Point is, I saw who and what I’m related to, and for as long as I can remember, I paid attention to their behaviors to know what not to do.

They made mistakes for me, even if they never learned from their mistakes (which none of them ever really have).

There was one thing they didn’t have which I did: Depression. Not one of them has a history of feeling so broken that they wanted to die. That had to be my curse; my lesson.

Despite the countless lessons my close relatives learned on my behalf, I still had ample major lessons to learn for myself. And that’s the main point I want to get at with this post: Everything I write about are directly related to some kind of failure of mine, whether that is physical experience, or spending a great deal of time brainstorming an assortment of conflicting ideas. Idiots attribute the things I say on this blog as some sort of arrogant preaching, as if I think I come from a higher plane of existence and that I ought to lecture the mortals beneath me. No, not remotely the case.

I come from a place of having once felt stupid, having once felt worthless, and having once felt nobody loves me. I come from a place of having made too many mistakes to count.

For example, in the near future I will be writing a post about why you shouldn’t help homeless people. Now, people who are mentally still children will automatically call me mean and heartless when they read that post, without even reading it. They will neither care or understand that the reason I don’t believe in giving direct aide to those with less is because I myself have been homeless. My belief on that subject comes from personal experience and the lessons I’ve learned from my own mistakes.

When I talk about my ex-wife, the knee-jerk reaction is to assume I’m just bitter because I can’t get laaaaid anymore, even though that’s not remotely true. I talk about my ex-wife so much because that is my direct, first-hand experience in seeing how women are not the angels we want to think they are; they are just as human as men are. I needed direct experience in seeing how women destroy families and the damage that does to individual lives and greater society. Also, my ex-wife is by far not the first time I saw this. I’ve always known what’s been happening to the family unit for decades, but unfortunately, I didn’t start taking the subject seriously until my ex-wife destroyed the family she made with me. I’ve always known how women think and operate, but I lived in so much denial, for so long, because I just didn’t want to admit it to myself.

Every man eventually admits to himself the obvious truth of why our species has always been patriarchal. It may take some men 50 years, but every man eventually admits the truth to themselves.

I saw the damage my sister has caused by being a selfish mother, I saw the affect my ex-wife’s own mother caused by being a selfish mother, and I saw the damage my own mother did to her 7 kids by being a selfish mother. It’s not about getting laid, morons. My ex-wife was the worst sex I’ve ever had, and she’s the one I chose to marry. When I write about her, and women in general, it’s for the sake of giving a damn about what’s happening to nearly every family I see, and there is nothing more important than family. This blog has existed since before I even met my ex-wife, and I certainly wrote on it during my marriage.

I give a damn about this world, because I’m one of the idiots that lives in it. Whether I’m serene, sarcastic, or pissed off, all the ships sail in the same direction.

Why do we need to learn lessons in the first place? Because we are not born with knowledge, we are only born with basic survival instincts. Minds need to be fed knowledge and wisdom; it does not come naturally.

Why is failure the greatest teacher? Because failure is first-hand experience showing us why an idea does not work.

Being wrong is not something to run away from, it is something to be embraced. Because being wrong means your knowledge and wisdom has elevated.