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Let's say that the person you love the most has just been shot. He or she is lying in the street, bleeding and screaming. A guy rushes up and says, "Step aside." He looks over your loved one's bullet wound and pulls out a pocket knife -- he's going to operate right there in the street.

You ask, "Are you a doctor?"

The guy says, "No."

You say, "But you know what you're doing, right? You're an old Army medic, or ..."

Quote:

At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.

Confused, you say, "How does any of that fucking matter when my (wife/husband/best friend/parent) is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?"

Now the man becomes agitated -- why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn't you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend's birthday? In light of all of the good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?

In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, "Yes, I'm saying that none of that other shit matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding, you crazy fucking asshole."

So here is my terrible truth about the adult world: You are in that very situation every single day. Only you are the confused guy with the pocket knife. All of society is the bleeding gunshot victim.

See the full article here

I encourage everyone to read this article, its funny and rather insightful. Advice is really universal and can pretty much be applied to the pursuit of jobs, woman, etc.

Especially the first one. Everything is about what you do, IE the results. I think it gets at why results on your resume are so important for example. Because it's one thing to say you're smart, driven, etc. but without concrete results it's hard for a random person to believe it.

Was wondering if you monkeys perhaps with more life experience had any thoughts on the contents.

5

Comments (48)

  • rogersterling59's picture

    This article is excellent, and so very true. Thanks for sharing!

    I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    Read this, and agree. Surprisingly deep for a comedy website.

    I powered through "A Hologram for the King" after I saw it mentioned in the WSJ, and it made a similar point: A man's purpose is to be of use to others. This is the primary determinant of his worth. This resonates with me.

  • ucmaroon47's picture

    should be mandatory reading for high schoolers

    And so it goes

  • John Daggett's picture

    Good article. I would like to add that women don't fall for nice guys. They fall for bad guys that dress nicely.

  • ALF.'s picture

    Saw this on facebook yesterday, great article, loved the Baldwin speech video too.

    I'm still in college and it gave me extra motivation to be productive (with self-improvement things) over break.

  • econ's picture

    Great fucking article, period. SB for you!

  • In reply to John Daggett
    TheKing's picture

    John Daggett wrote:
    Good article. I would like to add that women don't fall for nice guys. They fall for bad guys that dress nicely.

    I thought Bane killed you?

    Anyway, the article is great. It's not saying anything original or new, but it's definitely on point with great delivery.

    The thing that resonates most with me is his spiel on how most people are haters who will basically trash anything that others create as a defense mechanism. It's much easier to bash the work of others than it is to create things of your own. Unless you get over the fear of other people disliking your work, you'll always hold yourself back and find reasons to not do things.

    No matter what, people will hate on things you do. If you're putting yourself out there, someone will knock it. Either to your face or behind your back or behind a computer screen. You can bank on that.

  • IamObama's picture

    Every little whiny teenager (or adult), every single fat person, every single bum, every single beta male should be forced to read this once a year.

  • IBTeaching's picture

    Read this yesterday. Thought it was an amazing article, and one of the more inspirational ones I've read from Cracked. Solid post.

  • Going Concern's picture

    Refreshing to see all you bros going gaga over this lovely article, but the simple fact of the matter is that Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person". This leads me to question the legitimacy of this entire article.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to Going Concern
    NYU's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    Refreshing to see all you bros going gaga over this lovely article, but the simple fact of the matter is that Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person". This leads me to question the legitimacy of this entire article.

    You question the legitimacy of this article because of how those people misinterpreted the motivational ass-kicking they received? Do you blame the creators of violent video games for the misdeeds of those who go out and try to recreate the action in real life?

  • In reply to Going Concern
    huanleshalemei's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    Refreshing to see all you bros going gaga over this lovely article, but the simple fact of the matter is that Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic.

    True, I only watched it for 2 mins and that's it. I prefer Ben Affleck's speech in Boiler Room.
    But 'the patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?' is definitely classic.

    The Auto Show

  • In reply to Going Concern
    prospie's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person".
    The article is not about being a good person, but about kicking ass. It even explicitly addresses the people who say "i'm a good person" and think they deserve more.

  • ky0ung's picture

    i posted this article first! where's my silver bananas?

  • mikesswimn's picture

    So, I guess I'm the one who has to talk about the elephant in the room? That scarf that Lenny Kravitz is wearing at the beginning of the article, I mean, seriously? At what point does a scarf stop being a scarf and is simply a blanket you're wearing around your neck? Like, when does Lenny Kravitz stop being stylish and starts being an old cat woman who leaves the house with pjs, slippers and a blanket?

    Good looks though, great article.

    "My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

  • In reply to NYU
    Going Concern's picture

    NYU wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    Refreshing to see all you bros going gaga over this lovely article, but the simple fact of the matter is that Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person". This leads me to question the legitimacy of this entire article.

    You question the legitimacy of this article because of how those people misinterpreted the motivational ass-kicking they received? Do you blame the creators of violent video games for the misdeeds of those who go out and try to recreate the action in real life?

    That is a terrible comparison because the purpose of video games is to entertain not guide real life behavior. The purpose of Baldwin's speech was to motivate them to become better salesmen, in which it was an absolute failure. Compare this to Russell Crowe in Gladiator, where his pithy "what we do in life echoes in eternity" speech compels his Roman soldiers to fighter harder, by tapping into a positive aspect of their inner core. All Baldwin's speech does is threaten their jobs and make the real estate agents feel like little pieces of poo stuck to the side of a gas station toilet. It inspires them to commit crimes, and drives them to madness. In other words, it is an absolute failure in terms of accomplishing its objective, which is not a function of the audience but the method and message of the speech itself.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to huanleshalemei
    Going Concern's picture

    huanleshalemei wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    Refreshing to see all you bros going gaga over this lovely article, but the simple fact of the matter is that Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic.

    True, I only watched it for 2 mins and that's it. I prefer Ben Affleck's speech in Boiler Room.
    But 'the patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?' is definitely classic.

    The 'patient is bleeding' line was just another piece of Baldwin's collage of psychosis. If the patient is bleeding and you're not a doctor, help tend his wounds until the ambulance arrives.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to prospie
    Going Concern's picture

    prospie wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person".
    The article is not about being a good person, but about kicking ass. It even explicitly addresses the people who say "i'm a good person" and think they deserve more.

    Then perhaps the article shouldn't have been titled "6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person". Assuming that "kicking ass" and being a "good person" are mutually exclusive, if you really want to "kick ass", maybe just expunge all emotions and be completely singular in focus. Of course then you turn into a machine.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to Going Concern
    TheKing's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    prospie wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person".
    The article is not about being a good person, but about kicking ass. It even explicitly addresses the people who say "i'm a good person" and think they deserve more.

    Then perhaps the article shouldn't have been titled "6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person". Assuming that "kicking ass" and being a "good person" are mutually exclusive, if you really want to "kick ass", maybe just expunge all emotions and be completely singular in focus. Of course then you turn into a machine.

    I think you missed the entire point of the article. Did you read the entire thing? He addresses the things you're talking about.

  • In reply to mikesswimn
    prospie's picture

    mikesswimn wrote:
    At what point does a scarf stop being a scarf and is simply a blanket you're wearing around your neck? Like, when does Lenny Kravitz stop being stylish and starts being an old cat woman who leaves the house with pjs, slippers and a blanket?

    This is the real question - definitely interesting. It's a fine line.

  • BTbanker's picture

    Going Concern. It was fuck, or walk. Baldwin advised Mitch and Murray to fired their asses, because a loser is a loser. As it turned out, he was right. The douchebag tries to take the easy way out like most people, because he WAS weak. Nobody forces you to commit a crime. He can't claim duress as nobody had a gun to his head.

  • In reply to TheKing
    Going Concern's picture

    TheKing wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    prospie wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person".
    The article is not about being a good person, but about kicking ass. It even explicitly addresses the people who say "i'm a good person" and think they deserve more.

    Then perhaps the article shouldn't have been titled "6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person". Assuming that "kicking ass" and being a "good person" are mutually exclusive, if you really want to "kick ass", maybe just expunge all emotions and be completely singular in focus. Of course then you turn into a machine.

    I think you missed the entire point of the article. Did you read the entire thing? He addresses the things you're talking about.

    Thanks for the "harsh truth" bro. How kind of you to dismiss all of my comments in one fell swoop without providing any sort of actual point. One of the author's main points is that being a better person means being more useful to other people. That's not being a better person, that's being a more useful person. Reminds me of the line "it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you"...looks like Batman also wasn't a Kantian.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to Going Concern
    prospie's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    Then perhaps the article shouldn't have been titled "6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person".
    good point, I didn't really read the title

  • In reply to BTbanker
    Going Concern's picture

    BTbanker wrote:
    Going Concern. It was fuck, or walk. Baldwin advised Mitch and Murray to fired their asses, because a loser is a loser. As it turned out, he was right. The douchebag tries to take the easy way out like most people, because he WAS weak. Nobody forces you to commit a crime. He can't claim duress as nobody had a gun to his head.

    The Levene character was weak because he was being given garbage leads and forced to sell, leads so garbage that the one sale he did make was to a couple that was both bankrupt and delusional? What a laugh! It's like being given a 2 and 7 on the poker table and being forced to win the pot or get thrown out of the game. That's not a way to run a business, that's a way to run a madhouse. And coercion isn't limited to a firearm - it can also be accomplished through a big helping of psychological abuse.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • ricky212's picture

    I love Cracked. They come up with great stuff like this all the time

    Because when you're in a room full of smart people, smart suddenly doesn't matter—interesting is what matters.

  • In reply to Going Concern
    TheKing's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    TheKing wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    prospie wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    Alec Baldwin's speech is borderline psychotic, which is confirmed by the fact that it compels the everday characters of Glengarry Glen Ross to commit crimes, who previously would not have done such things. That speech absolutely did not make any of them a "better person".
    The article is not about being a good person, but about kicking ass. It even explicitly addresses the people who say "i'm a good person" and think they deserve more.

    Then perhaps the article shouldn't have been titled "6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person". Assuming that "kicking ass" and being a "good person" are mutually exclusive, if you really want to "kick ass", maybe just expunge all emotions and be completely singular in focus. Of course then you turn into a machine.

    I think you missed the entire point of the article. Did you read the entire thing? He addresses the things you're talking about.

    Thanks for the "harsh truth" bro. How kind of you to dismiss all of my comments in one fell swoop without providing any sort of actual point. One of the author's main points is that being a better person means being more useful to other people. That's not being a better person, that's being a more useful person. Reminds me of the line "it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you"...looks like Batman also wasn't a Kantian.

    1.) I wasn't attacking you, it actually seemed to me that you didn't read the whole piece. Calm down.

    2.) He is not dismissing being a good person. He's saying that we should strive to be good people that DO things and don't rest on our laurels. Being a good person is one thing, but if you want to get places, you need to DO things. That's it. Being a good person and doing things to improve yourself and make a mark is what we should all strive for.

    3.) The thing that resonated with me most is, again, how most people create nothing and attack the work of others as a sort of feel-good defense mechanism. I thought it was interesting.

  • wsrookie's picture

    Was a really good read, and something I personally need at the time (long story short, just got friendzoned, "genuinely nice guy" [apparently]). Gave me a new perspective.

  • In reply to TheKing
    Going Concern's picture

    TheKing wrote:
    2.) He is not dismissing being a good person. He's saying that we should strive to be good people that DO things and don't rest on our laurels. Being a good person is one thing, but if you want to get places, you need to DO things. That's it. Being a good person and doing things to improve yourself and make a mark is what we should all strive for.

    That is in direct contrast to Balwin's speech that the author included not once, but TWICE, which in the film revolves around selling real estate through lying, deception, and manipulation. His message of self improvement coupled with 'good person' status is muddled by his condoning of 'ends justify the means' mentality. I think either a) you're reading what you want from the article, b) you don't mind this mentality, c) the author did an inadequate job at conveying that message even if that was his intent, or d) I suffer from mental retardation.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • Quaneaser's picture

    I think you're looking too much into the plot of the actual movie which isn't really relevant. I've never seen the movie, and don't have much context for the scene, but the message is self-contained within that 7 min clip, whatever happens after is irrelevant.

    The author uses that video twice and the point is the same both times. Society doesn't care if you're a 'good person', in their minds there is no difference between a shitty salesman who is a kind person and a shitty salesman who is an asshole. There is a difference between someone who closes (IE gets actual results) and someone who doesn't. Doesn't matter either way if the shitty salesman is a good person and the guy with results is an ass.

    The other resonating point the author makes is that people will watch that same scene and arrive at difference conclusions. Half think ""Wow, what must it be like to have such an asshole boss?" and the other half think, "Fuck yes, let's go out and sell some goddamned real estate!". It's a matter of life perspective, I think one of the main points he is making is that those who think the latter are resting on their laurels of being the nice guy rather than going out there are making actual things happen.

  • In reply to Quaneaser
    Going Concern's picture

    Quaneaser wrote:
    The author uses that video twice and the point is the same both times. Society doesn't care if you're a 'good person', in their minds there is no difference between a shitty salesman who is a kind person and a shitty salesman who is an asshole. There is a difference between someone who closes (IE gets actual results) and someone who doesn't. Doesn't matter either way if the shitty salesman is a good person and the guy with results is an ass.

    Why should anyone give a damn about what "society" cares? "Getting results" isn't everything. What about the way results are obtained? Does that not matter in the slightest? Also sometimes there are no results that can be realistically had, and trying to force something from nothing is just madness.

    Quaneaser wrote:
    The other resonating point the author makes is that people will watch that same scene and arrive at difference conclusions. Half think ""Wow, what must it be like to have such an asshole boss?" and the other half think, "Fuck yes, let's go out and sell some goddamned real estate!". It's a matter of life perspective, I think one of the main points he is making is that those who think the latter are resting on their laurels of being the nice guy rather than going out there are making actual things happen.

    I think it's these same "let's sell some goddamned real estate" people that are so hungry that they're ripping people's faces off and not even blinking an eye. See: Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Yeah, I think this message really resonated with the people that were selling NINJA loans. Ya know, loans made to people with No Jobs, No Income, No Assets. These subprime mortgage lenders were definitely making actual things happen, even though all those "nice guys" were babbling nonsense about the pool of feasible home buyers being saturated.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to Going Concern
    Quaneaser's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    Quaneaser wrote:
    The author uses that video twice and the point is the same both times. Society doesn't care if you're a 'good person', in their minds there is no difference between a shitty salesman who is a kind person and a shitty salesman who is an asshole. There is a difference between someone who closes (IE gets actual results) and someone who doesn't. Doesn't matter either way if the shitty salesman is a good person and the guy with results is an ass.

    Why should anyone give a damn about what "society" cares? "Getting results" isn't everything. What about the way results are obtained? Does that not matter in the slightest? Also sometimes there are no results that can be realistically had, and trying to force something from nothing is just madness.

    Quaneaser wrote:
    The other resonating point the author makes is that people will watch that same scene and arrive at difference conclusions. Half think ""Wow, what must it be like to have such an asshole boss?" and the other half think, "Fuck yes, let's go out and sell some goddamned real estate!". It's a matter of life perspective, I think one of the main points he is making is that those who think the latter are resting on their laurels of being the nice guy rather than going out there are making actual things happen.

    I think it's these same "let's sell some goddamned real estate" people that are so hungry that they're ripping people's faces off and not even blinking an eye. See: Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Yeah, I think this message really resonated with the people that were selling NINJA loans. Ya know, loans made to people with No Jobs, No Income, No Assets. These subprime mortgage lenders were definitely making actual things happen, even though all those "nice guys" were babbling nonsense about the pool of feasible home buyers being saturated.

    I agree the people with tangible results aren't always the 'good' people. But that's not the point, the point is that for better or worse society will and already does judge people ONLY on the results. For example, I really like Christopher Nolan movies. I have no idea what his personal characteristics are like and whether or not he's a good guy but compared to some other guy who only critiques his work, I think he's a way better person because he actually does stuff.

    If you see a chick with a guy who's a total asshole or douchebag, you're natural instinct is to think "wow that guy sucks, I would never do what he does just to get a girl". Yet at the end of the day he is the one walking out of the bar with a hot chick, that's results.

    Sure you can have the attitude that you don't care what society thinks. But that is exactly the type of person the author is reaching out to in this article. When you think about it, who wouldn't want to be the guy with the hot chick or the movie director who has thousands of people looking over their work. Not caring what society thinks is a defense mechanism. There are lots of good people out there, the author is challenging those people to get out there and make something of that rather than putting up walls. Until then the closers will continue to sell shitty assets to people while the good guys will always be only the critics, shaking their heads and saying "wow how stupid were those ideas those 'closers' came up with" They need to get out there and DO SOMETHING. Instead of standing on the sideline and saying that's a bad idea they need to show why it is and come up with something better. They need to go up to that chick and not only tell her that that guy is a douchebag but also become the better alternative.

  • HostileTakeOver's picture

    The article is great when it comes to accomplishing something with your life, to make it one worth living. Where he lost me was when he started talking about being a "nice guy" with regards to women.

    I know a ton of men that this columnist would approve of in terms of accomplishment. Coming from a science background, I have known computer programmers bordering on prodigious, top-notch medical students, and incredibly good scientists. To put it bluntly, I know a lot of accomplished nerds. And these nerds aren't loners. They're relatively sociable, likable, funny, sociable and charming, more or less, to the point where they can play office politics to their favor.

    But NONE of them gets laid or gets any attention/respect from women. They are perpetually friendzoned. And in my brutally honest opinion, it's because they're relatively ugly. Probably the harshest truth is that, in regards to women, looks are probably the most important thing. Hey, even Bill Gates said, "Life isn't fair."

    But still, they have accomplished a lot. And they are extremely motivated, so good for them

  • Y2A's picture

    Great article, bookmarked for sure

  • In reply to Quaneaser
    Going Concern's picture

    Quaneaser wrote:
    Sure you can have the attitude that you don't care what society thinks. But that is exactly the type of person the author is reaching out to in this article. When you think about it, who wouldn't want to be the guy with the hot chick or the movie director who has thousands of people looking over their work. Not caring what society thinks is a defense mechanism. There are lots of good people out there, the author is challenging those people to get out there and make something of that rather than putting up walls. Until then the closers will continue to sell shitty assets to people while the good guys will always be only the critics, shaking their heads and saying "wow how stupid were those ideas those 'closers' came up with" They need to get out there and DO SOMETHING. Instead of standing on the sideline and saying that's a bad idea they need to show why it is and come up with something better.

    I can appreciate sentiment of reasonable self improvement, but to imply that the ends are all that matter is absurd. I think "society" conceded that much when the actions of savagely opportunistic subprime mortgage lenders were brought to light. Sometimes those walls are there for a very good reason. I am not saying that it's the critic that counts (and for the record, I think most film critics are extremely snotty), but I am saying that it is asinine to abandon any personal value system you may have to generate the results that society values. Again using Glengarry Glen Ross as an example, the only realistic way that any of those real estate agents would have any chance at selling real estate to their deadbeat leads was through lying and deception.

    Quaneaser wrote:
    I agree the people with tangible results aren't always the 'good' people.

    This brings up the debate between utilitarian and deontological ethics that has been raging for centuries and has no clear answer.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • leveredarb's picture

    the ends are all that matter, you are free to redefine your end as only using moral means.

    this article was reasonable, its fairly fucking obvious to be honest lol, I paraphrased this to myself a long time ago to "Nobody gives a fuck".

    author comes over as too arrogant /self-righteous considering he some random writer on the internet but whatever

    to the guy talking about what society thinks, what society thinks is completely irrelevant since 99% of society is completly fucktarded and useless. I would only worry about what the 1% thinks (and define that 1% for urself...)

  • In reply to leveredarb
    Going Concern's picture

    leveredarb wrote:
    the ends are all that matter, you are free to redefine your end as only using moral means.

    Oh really? So you're saying it's fine to forge leadership activities/awards to get into Oxford/Cambridge? Fine to fabricate your resume to get a job? Only problem is, if every single person did that, society wouldn't function.

    See: categorical imperative.

    "We first have a perfect duty not to act by maxims that result in logical contradictions when we attempt to universalize them. The moral proposition A: "It is permissible to steal" would result in a contradiction upon universalisation. The notion of stealing presupposes the existence of property, but were A universalized, then there could be no property, and so the proposition has logically negated itself."

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

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  • mgotrade's picture

    "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."

  • ramadjaffri's picture

    Fortes fortuna adiuvat.