Life is NOT a Zero-Sum Game

Source of photo: https://hurstrobert.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/herod-and-the-old-politics/

As I wrote my previous two posts about MGTOW/Red Pilled men vs the Feminist Movement and reflected on our political climate in general in 2019, the following thought occurred to me…

Life is not a zero-sum game, so why do so many of us seemingly operate like it is?

For the uninitiated, a zero-sum game is simply defined as the gains anyone makes (in life, business, finance, etc.) only comes at someone else’s expense.

This sort of thinking is quite prevalent in our society today. I’d argue that it is always been prevalent in society.

There are whites who think gains by minorities take away from whites.

There are men who think gains by women are taking away from men.

Even the whole income/wealth inequality argument is built around the zero-sum game premise where people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett gained and maintain their wealth by keeping everyone else poor.

People really do think wealth is a gigantic pie that is taken up mostly by the 1% while the 99% are given the crumbs.

I really would like for someone to explain to me exactly how a millionaire or a billionaire having X-amount of dollars takes away from the poor and the middle class.

Did the lottery winner who was poor or middle class the day before winning millions all of a sudden become a robber barron?

Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t about defending the wealthy as many conservatives are want to do, because the wealthy as a collective are not job creating gods who are the most hard working people on the planet and are infallible as human beings. That line of thought is as asinine as thinking the 1% is some evil cabal bent on dominating the globe by keeping the 99% poor.

No, people tend to undermine their own happiness for two very fundamental reasons…

Firstly, people tend to think that wealth and happiness are joined at the hip when in reality they are mutually exclusive.

While I’d love to find out what it would be like to live like a millionaire, it might be a fun problem to have, having millions or billions of dollars does not necessarily ensure happiness.

Dave Chappelle made this salient point in his stand-up show Sticks & Stones regarding Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain ostensibly had a life that 99% of us could only dream about. Cultured, educated, preeminent in his craft, and most of all, quite wealthy.

Why did Bourdain, ostensibly a man who had everything a man could possibly want, take his own life?

Why wasn’t he happy?

Perfect segue into my second point…

Lastly, people, especially in western society, tend to focus on what they lack as opposed to what they have.

If I had to pick the main source of our unhappiness as a society, this is what I’d pick.

All the wealth and power in the world won’t fill the void your heart and mind thinks it is missing if you can’t figure out what is missing or help you fill the void if you do know what is missing in your life.

Life is all about the simple pleasures and we often take these things for granted and never appreciate them until they are denied to us.

Do you think a person in prison misses his/her freedom? The ability to take a bath when you want, or a walk in the park, or eat a big steak with a great red wine, or even use the toilet without an audience?

Go and ask any inmate what they miss about the outside world and I guarantee that the response will involve such simple pleasures and not money or power.

Simple pleasures are within everyone’s reach.

My ability to have a nice dinner and lively conversation with family and friends doesn’t come at the prison inmate’s expense.

My successes in life don’t come at anyone else’s expense and another person’s success doesn’t come at my expense.

Ever notice that the most successful people in life seldom measure their success or happiness on material wealth?

Just because someone is poor doesn’t mean they are miserable and unhappy. Remember, Bourdain?

The zero-sum game mentality is a conduit for excuses for those who wish to blame others for their failures.

It’s a game that I will never play.

-The Rational Ram

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