16 August 2007

Recognizing The Sucker

When did it become acceptable to use ignorance as an excuse for incompetence? If you don't know something and you don't put your best effort into learning it, you have no excuse. You are just incompetent.

If you have an opportunity to learn something you need so that your life or your job or your relationship will go smoother or better or more successfully, you should take it. If you don't, you have no one to blame for your failures but yourself. Only a fool spits in the eye of the man holding out a hand to help him.
If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.
-- Mike McDermott from the movie Rounders

As someone who routinely operates in rooms full of above average players I'm pretty used to being the sucker. There's no shame in recognizing it and working your butt off so that someday it won't be you. Now having said that, I do think you should be ashamed to be the guy who doesn't even bother glancing around the room to recognize that he is the sucker.

I have no issue with ignorance. It's been my friend and companion for quite some time, and I happily acknowledge mine. Simultaneously I push myself and those around me to stop associating with it as soon as possible. Being ignorant is okay, being unwilling to stop being ignorant is stupid. Making decisions and operating in ignorance is forgivable and often necessary. Continuing in ignorance when other possibilities exist is disgusting and foolish.

Don't disrespect someone who can help you, just because you want to look like you can do it yourself. When you disrespect people who are willing to help you get better, you stop being worthy of their help. Even if you do manage to gain some success on your own, it won't matter. Because no one will like you. And they'll all be within bounds to treat you like the sucker.

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