Monday, August 8, 2011

Championing the Underdog

One of the things  I remember growing up was my father calling me into his room, and lecturing me on the way the Yankees would win the next world series irrespective of whatever cruddy record they were having that year.  He would always say, "You see, I like to root for the underdog."  I would look at him, nod my head in agreement, and walk out of the room thinking, "My gawd man!  You're crazy!  The Yankees suck!  Why don't you root for the winner?"  Well, times have changed.  As I grow older and promise myself I would never turn out like my father, the more I see that he and I are much more alike than I like to give him credit for.

It turns out that I too like to champion  the underdog in many situations.  I love science fiction with dystopian societies where the protagonist must fight "The Man" to achieve some symbolic gesture of freedom.  I like getting into bands that everyone loved 5-10 years ago and now hate for some reason.  For this very reason I've now become a Limp Bizkit fan.  How best to rebel against our fickle musical culture?  Like a band that was written off 10 years ago.  I also like to romanticize celebrities that were vilified in the press like Kevin Federline or Michael Lohan.  It's so strange.

The folks that are underdogs have to show a lot of character to overcome public perceptions.  We as Americans like to kick people when they're up and hold them down once they fall.  We also love a good comeback story.  Just look at our obsession with Elvis!

I feel like an underdog a lot in my daily dealings.  I feel like I overcome a lot of my own judgements as well as what people expect of me.  I also know that in many situations I'm no longer considered an underdog and some people are waiting for me to fail at what I do.

Am I a bit delusional? Probably.  But it's an engine of motivation that I use to compel me to do great things.  The only difference is that I'm learning that I need to change the oil of the engine to perform actions for myself and not others.  People will always hate it when you succeed.  I must learn to succeed and truly ignore that negativity and just focus on the positive results I want.  Maybe if I do that, the underdog in me will lay down and sleep finally.

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