Contempt Breeds Contamination
There are a few things that eat away at my reasonably good mood.
One of those, is watching my gaming community go down the drain, one disappointment at a time. It has been a long six years of running this thing, and regardless of what I do it I’m constantly thrown at the top of what could only be considered a political popularity chart. The sliding scale from heavy support, to relative animosity that I endure is without a doubt one of the most incredibly annoying, pointless, vastly irritating vicious circles of monotonous action ever. I’ve come to recognize through these long years a pattern that exists the same in online politics the way that it way that it would in real politics.
Perhaps the reason I can’t stand running this shit sometimes, is because of the foundation that I have laid down for the group itself. While I have indeed created with the help of few people a system that strongly resembles the hybrid structure of a democracy with a dictator, (much like the U.S.) I’ve also managed to do the one thing that no leader should ever allow inside the walls. Something that I highly regret doing now, and only in retrospect now do I realize how idiotic and naive it was for me to believe that it could ever be used as a tool for our benefit.
Outside influence is not only one of the most dangerous variables to group unity, it’s also one of the only irreversible subjects of change. Every single shred of outside influence I’ve ever let in the community has somehow come back to bite me in the ass. All of them. They all have found a way to do this in individual fashion, and no matter how many methods they use, or the timeframe in which they take to execute their plans, they always share a single cohesive outcome. It’s a single long line at your front doorstep of leeches, ready to take not only your resources, but your support with them. It may sound wonderful at first; the newfound ability to not only share what you have, but the profoundly moving trait of being generous as well as compassionate. The extension of the hand of friendship is not only a powerful tool at one’s disposal; it’s also a double-edged sword, ready to come back and fuck you over in a heartbeat.
If you’re too caught up in paying attention to potential enemies, you’ll forget early on to keep an eye on your friends. The seemingly warm manners of such rightful allies soon turn into a pin-prick of doubt, which eventually shows its true form, in the shape of treachery. Almost as if it was inception itself, this simple idea planted within the mind of your most trusted friends soon blooms into a deviously hazardous anomaly. The bond once shared exists no longer. There’s an uneasy sense of distrust, and it’s well placed. The secrecy begins to take others aside, in what would seem a near harmless manner. It’s not just the fact that it’s an almost intentional straying from the pack. It’s the blatant sense that for some reason you’ve been turned into an outsider by your own kind. I know all too well the story of the betrayal of Julius Caesar. Perhaps it is for this exact reason that I am to hold such a cautious foothold on the borders of my community. Because I know all too easy how fragile the human psyche is, and how easily it can be swayed in the direction of your choice with the right leverage. With a simple amount of emotional or logical manipulation, a person’s entire worldview can be completely altered.
In the legendary text “Hagakure”, Yamamoto Tsunetomo was quoted as saying this excerpt which makes incredible sense to me:
Bad relations between retired and present rulers, father and son, and elder and younger brothers develop from selfish motives. The proof of this is that there are no such bad relations between master and retainer.
Maybe I can no longer rely on the possible friendship of others outside, out of a necessary fear of the manipulation and estrangement of my own group members. However much of a sense of isolation this may bring about us, I’d much rather lead a trustworthy society of secret people, than risk letting in another single unit of treacherous deviance. For far too long, I’ve been one of overly exerted trust, allowing any person who wanted to claim power as their own to reach out and take it. This can no longer be the case. I must base it solely on dedication now, because it seems the only method that has proven its worth in determining who is worthy to lead.
In my time, I’ve seen less than a handful of people who are truly qualified to be titled as leaders of their communities and respected groups. So, when I catch wind of hearing that someone believes me to be unworthy of such a rank, I take that personally as a sign of disloyalty and lack of faith in me. Especially when it’s being said behind closed doors to members of my own council as if it were never to be returned to my ears. If there is anything I can’t stand worse than deceptive members, it’s an ill-advisor. Someone who purposefully with the intent to turn others against their own, advises with words of certainty and pseudo-urgency. Those who cite hypocrisy must also be ready to accept the title themselves of hypocrites.
I find myself wishing that I could retain perhaps a more cheerful, and positive demeanor when dealing with matters as such, but I find it increasingly difficult when over and over again, I find that discipline and loyalty are virtues long since forgotten. I value all the service bestowed in my name, and would gladly sacrifice what I can for my members and friends.
It was said that one day, a retainer of Lord Nabeshima Naohiro informed his master “There are no men here upon whom the master can truly rely on. Although I am consistently useless, I am the only one who would throw away his life for you”. Lord Nabeshima was said to become angry, and as he turned to look at his other retainers in the room with an air of disbelief, they all sat in silent shame.
I hope I am not ever met with such distressing news. If so, then the virtue of loyalty is inevitably lost.