And the people who gain the world and lose their soul,George Harrison – Within You Without You (Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
They don’t know… They can’t see…
Are you one of them?
This much, I promise you: Should you ever need a reasonable excuse to avoid doing “the right thing” – whatever that might be – you won’t have to look far.
“As you can see, I had no choice..”
“We’re just doing what the market wants…”
“Ha! Only a sucker would turn down that kind of cash/that kind of opportunity/that kind of deal…”
These, and countless others, will never go out of style. As long as the sun is buring, and there are people who need to cheat their conscience, there will always be a way to do so. There will never come a day where there is nothing for you to hide behind – where you are forced to abide by your own sense of right and wrong.
What’s more, this isn’t Pinocchio – you’ll get away with it. Unless you’re literally murdering babies, most people won’t bat an eyelid. And why would they? They’ve got their own inner turmoils to deal with. Not to mention the fact that even if they do say something, so what? You can spin anything into anything else. You can pull the wool over anybody’s eyes you choose. Including your own.
But I ask you this: Supposing I’m right, is that how you actually want to live? Can you even call that a life? To be always on the run from the still, small voice inside yourself sounds less like winning and more like utter damnation to me. To die would be a mercy.
Because whilst the world at large may give you a free pass for ignoring your conscience – more often than not it will venerate you as a genius, a conqueror, or a visionary – a part of you remains acutely aware of the painful truth, that behind your bullshit corporate mission and your off-shore bank account and your City connections and your tight clothes and your high-rise properties and every last one of the hearts and minds you had to con into trusting you…
You are empty. You couldn’t bare to face your own humanity, so you tried to cover up the void with all of the above. In the end, there’s nothing impressive about you. You’re a little, fucking coward. And you know it.
But there is a third act to this tale. Redemption is possible.
And whilst the quarterly return on doing what you know in your heart to be right might not have quite so many zeroes as your competitors, might not get your pecker hard like those pills you take, and might never get you on the cover of Forbes magazine… it will return to you the only thing you were ever actually looking for all along: