Looking past the obvious and into the moment of epiphany

Last night, I could not sleep, so I began my own Stumbleon account in my quest to learn everything I can about the world and its intricate workings. I found this amusing article below, which inspired me to think about more than just its immediate context.

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.

This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it. This is for that time she interrupted the best killing spree you’d ever orchestrated in GTA3 to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: “oh, but we’re just friends!” And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that.

The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks. Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.

So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgment, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming.  From http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~jenf/writing/rant04.html

I think it really describes the state of the entire world. Yes, it is mostly about dating, but if we expand the same line of reasoning to our everyday events, we get a much bigger picture and a much bigger lesson. Though the lesson of not taking things for granted is a cliche, it is indeed especially true on many difference levels. There are always someone, or something someone does for us, that we take for granted. We become so caught up in the moment and in ourselves that we forget about the sacrifices of others. Yet because they are always there for us, we never know about how much we have taken them for granted until a startling event or moment wakes us up. We then realize- and are astonished- by how much they have sacrificed for us and how unappreciated we have been of them. This epiphany makes us for guilty and ashamed but at the same time, it forces us to finally acknowledge our selfishness and inconsideration of others. We then vow never to take someone or something someone has done for us for granted ever again, but then without that rare startling moment of epiphany, how will we know that even as we speak, we are not unconsciously ignoring the things that someone has sacrificed for us? How will we see the unconscious? And then there is the question of once we are aware of the sacrifices of others for our sakes, can we continue to exploit it? Is it ethical to do so? Is a mere acknowledgment enough for us to continue to take advantage of their sacrifices- after all, they are the ones who “offered” to sacrifice themselves for us in the first place? We might also make excuses, saying that they want to sacrifice themselves and that they are the ones who want it that way. If we are thinking this way, we are deadly wrong. Nobody want to be taken granted for and taken advantage of. Sure some people want to sacrifice themselves for others, but we all want to be appreciated at a certain level. It is human nature to feel that way.

This simple article brought more questions than answers, but we don’t need to have the answers to all the questions right now. We just need to really and truly be aware of the sacrifices someone out there is doing for us and be thankful that these people exist. Because their unselfishness and willingness to step away from the spotlight and work from the shadows are making this world a better place for all of us to live.


2 thoughts on “Looking past the obvious and into the moment of epiphany

  1. wow. for someone who writes, “…their unselfishness and willingness to step away from the spotlight and work from the shadows are making this world a better place for all of us to live,” you sure love the spotlight. you sure aren’t making the world better for anybody.

    you think your blog is better than the average one, but your writing is atrocious, and your thoughts are more or less trite bullshit.

    someone needs to get you off your high horse.

    • thanks for your comment, and i really don’t mean it in a sarcastic way. it got me thinking about you said and although i disagree with your opinions, im glad that i got to hear them 🙂
      p.s. can i ask who you are, since it’s clear that you have access to my facebook page which means that i know you from somewhere?

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