Shun the weak

One of Harry’s favourite sayings, when I was still with him was “Shun the weak.”  It usually referred to people who confused me by being a bit lame, but since my recent conversation with him, I now realise that he thought that I was the sort of person who does this, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including my relationship with him.


As someone who has attracted many weak men, I now have quite a bit of knowledge of them.  People have different opinions as to what constitutes weakness, of course – I am sure a go-getter like Wolfe would think it was weak to look after a disabled person, for example, but as someone who has actually done it, I can tell you he would not have the foggiest idea what he was talking about.  Rehabbing a person back from stroke and multiple bereavements takes a kind of strength people like him know nothing about.


So, let us begin by deciding what I mean by weak on this occasion:

Intense jealousy
Unwillingness to accept the knowledge or kindness of others
Inability to think for themselves without reference to others
Desire for the positive opinions of others, however transitory
Contempt for people not in their social circle
Driven by acquisition or ‘putting one over’ on others
The wish to prove the stupidity of others
Inability to accept that other people have opinions or requirements independently of them
Need for admiration
Inability to admit when they are wrong
Inability to make decisions without a reference point involving the opinions of others

I was aware when I spent a lot of time with Aldous, that he believed that people only rated in relation to social worth, and since I do not choose to spend time with groups of people, I came fairly low on his idea of the pecking order.  He was most surprised, when we travelled, that I had a wide range of friends in fairly far flung places, that although I did not see them often, knew me extremely well.  It amused me intensely that I went up several notches in his estimation, purely on the basis that a bunch of people he didn’t even know liked me.


I doubt that he even considered that having met his friends years before, I preferred to spend my time alone actually doing things other than drinking or smoking weed.  I doubt very much that he consciously thought about it at all.  He was probably busy filing reasons for disliking me away in his little cabinet, a habit his brother also clung to.


One of the first things I noticed when it came to Wolfe, that he was basically an Aldous or Harry who has happened to make some money.  This puts him into a secondary or tertiary category when it comes to his immediate social circle.  It is probably just as well he keeps himself busy, or he might actually notice that he isn’t as popular with them as he might think.  It takes time, confidence and a lot of introspection to get to the point where you no longer need anyone’s approval and you can afford to let go of things like jealousy, the desire for blind faith etc.  No realistic relationship consists of people admiring each other to the point of mutual and public masturbation, which is why Ina is necessarily a fairly spiky character.


Personally, I am very guilty of being too polite, overcompensating for people’s feelings if I determine that there is something I can do about it, and putting other people before myself.  This is a different kind of weakness.  Whilst I have no problem with confrontation, I am well aware that other people do, and so I take measures accordingly.  Not everyone has the benefit of ten years working under extreme pressure and getting the job done, so they often prefer to bitch behind your back.  My advice is let them, shrug it off and get on with whatever you want to do. Generally speaking, if you do this, sooner or later someone else will come along and join in, slowing you down considerably. It is up to you whether you allow this or run away, but running away sometimes has unintended consequences.


Try starting your day by affirming that there is nothing wrong with you.  If you find that other people have a problem with that, try ignoring them.  If this does not work, try moving away from them altogether.  Jealousy is useless to you.  If someone wants to be with you they will be with you.  Nobody admires you 24/7, so stop seeking that out.  If someone says that they do have blind faith, get rid of them because they are probably stabbing you somewhere you just cannot see.  Life is not that simple, but you can simplify it considerably by dropping the boring baggage.


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