Thursday, September 17, 2009

Longest post I will ever put on this blog, Plus, the beginning of a new tradition!

One of my core values on which I base much of the way I treat people is that I am not better than anyone. From those on the top of the world to the bottom of the barrel, we are all in this world trying to do the best we can with what we have. When I start working at a law firm as a lawyer, that does not make me any better than the guy who goes to the same building and cleans the toilets.

I think the best way to remind myself of this is what we are working for. That person cleaning the toilets is working to provide for himself and possibly a family. The effort that he puts in would most likely be the difference between whether his family has food on the table or they go hungry. (I could go on about the socially desirable function he’s serving by creating a hygienic environment, and so on but I think I’ve made my point.)

You may rebut this with, “But Jeron, you’re such an ass all the time!”

Well kids, you would be right that I am an ass, but let me explain a little bit about how those two things can live and mingle together.

It’s called “Justification.” That’s what others probably call it, but the rules when my jokes are and are not appropriate, so I will try to put as many of them as I can think of to paper. (Yeah, justification.)

1. Never have the motivation of my jokes to be to about how I look, or about how the other person will look.
2. Do not have malicious intent as the reason for my joke unless I have a very good reason to be malicious.
3. Do not give people a hard time if they are clearly in an emotionally fragile state. (Meaning if they are having a bad day, week, are very soft hearted - whatever the case may be)
4. Don’t say anything about someone that I wouldn’t be willing to say about myself.
5. Never say anything about someone behind their back that I wouldn’t say to their face.

I know I have more and I will edit more into this post if as I think of them.

There are two reasons I bring this up. First, my close friends may not know the actual rules I have, but they understand that the things I say are to be taken with a grain of salt, so it just seemed like a good place to quantify this process. Second, I have recently either broken these rules or come pretty damn close and that has made me think about these rules a bit lately and has made me feel bad. I am not happy when I break my personal ethics.

So this guy sits right in front of me in all but 1 of my classes and he is kind of an odd duck. He picks his nose and eats it in class, he uses his glasses to pick his earwax and then licks it off the end of his glasses, uses big words a lot for no apparent reason… Until you meet him, he’s hard to picture.

So he likes to argue, and about dumb things. I like to argue about dumb things. So he started randomly talking to me and he mentioned how he wants to sick the U.S. Marshals on many different people including Disney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Pope. So an argument about these things ensued about these things between him, the girl who sits next to me, and me.

So when I have ridiculous arguments like this I don’t argue on their terms. I argue on my terms. I make it more ridiculous than anyone could imagine. So to make a long story short, I have a $100,000 bet (with 10:1 odds mind you) on who would if the U.S. Marshals are on one side of the golden gate bridge (they number 50 which includes a mix of Marshals and a deputized posse) and Schwarzenegger is on the other side and they meet in the middle and do battle. I go with the Governator. So if this scenario ever plays out, I will be a rich man.

So there are many other interactions I have had with him that I haven’t recounted, and there are very few in the class that he interacts with. So one easy topic of conversation with people you don’t know yet from our section is this guy. He is just so fascinating you want to talk about him. This is where I am hitting a gray area. At first it was just good fun, but a few of these conversations have become pretty mean spirited. This could be a violation of rules 1 and 5.

In one of the most recent conversations I mused at the fact that he was thinking that we were becoming friends. It was at that point that I realized that I was probably breaking my rules. I’m not proud of myself for it.

I think the biggest problem was that I lost sight of one of the biggest rules I have, which is that I am not better than anyone. I am not better than this guy. He is not a tool for me to get to know people better, nor is he some object placed there for my amusement.

I have resolved that I’m going to continue to have these arguments. However, I will now keep in mind that I am not better than him, I am arguing with him because it is enjoyable for both of us. I don’t think we will become friends, but I will make sure that I will now have the attitude of respect and friendliness that I should have been having this entire time.

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

Lastly I have decided that at the end every post I will have a “Things heard on the street of New York” section. So here are a couple:

"There are so many skid marks all over this sidewalk from all the dog crap!"
"It’s 1 a.m. why are there so many people out on a Tuesday?" (Umm… why are you out at 1 am?)
"Get out of my way or I will call Obama on you!" (At this point he pointed at his Obama shirt. Yes, he evoked the power of Obama.)


  1. Jeron you and your rules.
    I'm glad you have these ones though..

  2. I would have evoked the power of Norris on him (points to Chuck Norris on my shirt)

  3. Not sure what the power of Obama will do for him on a random street corner, hehehe