The Nice Guys

Garry Shandling said it best, “Nice guys finish first. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know where the finish line is”.

There’s this belief that guys who are not super aggressive, that guys who think of others before themselves, are guys who end up getting walked all over. Those guys are supposedly guys who get told what to do, who have their narratives written for them. I think back in high school, as an adolescent, I thought the same way. Thinking that perhaps the way my parents had raised me, the way that reading superhero comics and shows raised me were wrong. And as I got into my later teen years, I tried to change myself into something else that I naturally wasn’t. I looked at the world in a me first perspective, a perspective that only considered me as the center. But I got older and I started to realize that it is not about me and often times, it will never be about me. That for others, I am really just another person in their own life’s narrative. And I think what changed for me was in realizing that this selfish perspective was only benefiting me and rather I should better myself in order to bring people up. Instead of keeping all my wisdom and opinions to myself, I should use those things to advise and inform others. As a community of friendship, students, teammates, or co-workers – the community comes up together and not independently.

I guess if we were to look at that Garry Shandling quote again, the “finish line” is not necessarily a place where only you cross and you alone. The finish line is somewhere that you show others the way to, a place where if anyone finishes, we support that person. And sure you may not literally finish first, you may not win every single time but I think you will win when you deserve to win. You win when you finally get that special someone to reciprocate your feelings, you win when you work hard and get that job promotion, and you win when you reach a personal milestone that you have been focusing on. The race isn’t with others, the race is with yourself and you finish when you can.

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