A Call For Responsibility

photo by LilyDC

We all caught Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show closing act/goodbye thingy last Friday. Good stuff, right? That and the Freebird jam, extended version fea. Will Ferrell, Ben Harper, the Rev. Billy Gibbons, Beck, and Conan himself. right? That was dope. Great show. Gracious end.

Here's what I took away from the poignant talk.
"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.

But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
I suppose when intelligence, pragmatism, and a world's weight of personal insecurity closes in on a person, the result can often be snarky. And if there is an audience, this bitter venom can sting targets. But the hurt can not only be target-centric, but the shooter can be indelibly soiled as well.

I know. I have soiled myself in such a manner. I have been cynical in the past myself. Cynical, mean, bitter, harsh, and a self-described jerk. I know this too. But I don't like it. At least, not anymore.

What purpose does cynicism serve? To somehow prove a perceived superiority? Too out-do, to feel better? Or worse, is your cynicism used put someone else down? So why the show? Why the assholery? Why the 'tude, dude?

Good questions and even better observations. Coco's right, people. Why bother with the mean when the more difficult thing would be to work toward mastering being nice. We are not here to do the easy things. We should not be here to do easy things.

"...but if you work work really hard...." Know what? I'm a believer. Not saying I'm somehow magically converted or that I won't ever again be cynical or snarky or mean--after all I'm still me, right?--but I can "work really hard" at not letting the jerk take over.

In face, Conan presented quite the remarkable and simple checklist:
  • Work really hard
  • Don't be cynical
  • Be nice
Shit, that could serve as the foundation for a religion: Cocoism. I, for one, do not believe in the worst of human nature and motive. I question motives, but it's not my default setting to believe people to be bad (people are not necessarily smart, but...). Again, I am not as much converted as I am reminded what I believe.

I have known many people to be kind, loyal, and selfless without motive, game, or requirement for reciprocation. I have, myself, been kind, loyal, and selfless without motive, game, or requirement for reciprocation. So, there.

So...doy, let's do this shit. Work really hard (harder). Don't be cynical (quit frontin'). Be nice.

Do me a favor, will ya'? When I am being snarky, call me out. If I come across as cynical, let me know. But remember there's a difference between funny and snarky; funny and cynical. I'm still going to say funny shit because I believe most things are funny.

But we have a responsibility to call each other out on the bullshit though. Deal?