I can't be happy unless I defeat you. That's what I was taught. That's how I was raised.

Any other trains of thought were discouraged. It was only when I was able to defeat my peers that I was encouraged to be happy.

"You can't celebrate life just for the sake of it," they'd tell me. "You can celebrate after the others are defeated."

That's the tactic they used to motivate us. "Why can't you be like the neighbor's kid? Why can't you be like your sibling? When I was your age, I was doing so much better." Everything was a comparison against someone else who was faster, smarter, or stronger.

You can't be happy unless you exceed them. You *shouldn't* be happy unless you exceed them. Only losers accept themselves the way they are because only losers have given up. We're not going to let you give up. Look how good the other schools are doing. Look how great the other families are doing. Look how wonderful other countries have it. Don't you want to be there? Don't you want to live like that? 

You can't seriously be happy like this can you? I'm not going to raise my kid with no goals and no ambitions. If others are doing better, you are going to join the race, whether you want to or not. You will constantly watch those around you, and if they are doing better on any measurement, you will ask yourself why you can't be there too. You *should* ask yourself why you can't be there too.

No kid of mine is going to be a loser. Whatever race they're running, you run it. Whatever contest they're holding, you enter it. There is only pleasure to be found when you can snatch it away from others. Other kinds of happiness are for the losers who can't compete

You are going to be a winner.

You will take away their happiness because you can. You will take away their happiness because it will make you feel better about yourself. That is the true victory. That is the true measure of success. Oh, they will fight you. No doubt they will fight you. No one wants their own happiness taken away.

That is how you will prove your worth. That is how you will prove your ability. The harder they fight you, the more you prove yourself once you defeat them. The more you can crush them, the more happiness you deserve. Those victories are the ones that are truly earned. The hardest fought victories, against the strongest opponents, in the most difficult circumstances.

You defeat everyone around you, and you can safely say you deserve to be happy. Everyone else is fooling themselves. If they are happy being losers, they are the slaves, and I'm not raising you to be a slave. I'm raising you to be a champion.

That's the system of values I grew up with. That is how I view my world. I'm sorry if I must crush you today but if I must choose between your happiness or mine, I will choose mine. Pardon me if I laugh at your mistakes. Pardon me if I laugh at your misfortunes. Pardon me if I can't be happy for your success and secretly celebrate when I see you fail.

There are so many rungs on this ladder but I can only be happy when I see you below me. And I will push you down if I can't pull myself up. Every victory over you brings me up. I'm sorry if my happiness can only come at the expense of yours, but that's how I was raised. Success is a zero-sum game, and I am unable to see it any other way.

A rising tide does *not* lift all boats. A rising tide just keeps us all relatively the same. I can't be on top unless I make you sink. And I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Because I don't know anything else. It's a dog eat dog world and I sure as hell am not about to get eaten.

My people don't raise losers. We raise winners. And if you can't win, you don't deserve a place in this society. That's how we separate the wheat from the chaff. That's how we improve ourselves.

Imagine if we didn't improve ourselves. Our culture would still be in the Stone Age. My ancestors were the ones who clubbed yours to death. My ancestors were the ones who survived to build what we have today. We have no room for weakness, and if you want to revel in your weakness, if you want to be happy with the rest of the losers, we cannot allow your kind to influence the future. If we can't measure who is better and who is worse, society would never make any progress. If we allow you to be happy in your defeat, society would never make any progress. Any society happy with not making progress is a society doomed to fail.

So I'm sorry if I can't let you losers be happy today. I'm sorry if I believe the future of our society is more important than your personal experiences. You no longer matter. If you did matter, you would not have allowed yourselves to be defeated. There is no reason you deserve to be happy, especially if you're standing in the way of progress. You proved you no longer had a place here when you dropped out of the race. When you decided it wasn't worth running. When you decided not to grasp for power. Now you have none, and those of us who still do can impose our will upon you.

You should've seen this coming but you didn't. You've proven yourselves unfit for this society, and you still believe you deserve happiness? You don't even deserve a place here, and it's your own fault. You are the ones who gave up. You are the ones who saw the contest as pointless. But it's not so pointless anymore now, is it? And now you have to pay the price for your mistakes.

No, I don't feel sorry for you. I feel relieved. I feel relieved it's you down there and not me. If you were unlucky, that's not my fault. If you had other problems, that's not my fault. I can point to you now and say you are truly below me, and you know what? That does make me feel better about myself.

You have allowed society to overwhelm you, I have not, and I can't be happy unless I defeat you.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.