Ambition

The thing about ambition for ambition’s sake is that ambitious people insist on acting like it’s something positive. They’re all ambitious nominally so that they can ‘make the world a better place’ in some diffuse way. By making lots of money and giving it to charity, presumably. Which seems sort of suspect, coming from someone who’s ruthlessly ambitious. Is the desire to make the world a better place not, to some degree, just another cloak for ambition? What better foil to accusations of boundless ambition and desire for dominance than but I want the world to be better? Why not just try and make the world a better place without first earning tons and tons of money?

I have vastly more respect for people of limited means who make the world better in small ways that truly cost them, than people of limitless resources who invest—what is, to them—a meaningless amount in ‘making the world better’. At that point isn’t feeding a few hungry Somalis just a public relations exercise? And yet it’s the Zuckerbergs and the Gates’s of the world who get salutations for this kind of stuff. Well, thanks guys.

(Really, I mean, they do a lot of good. Seriously, thanks).

…But also, fuck you. Do it quietly. Put up something that actually costs you, like your time. And salute those people who don’t have much to give, but offer it up anyway. Cheers to them.

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