I had one of those days when you bump into people from the past and instead of leaving you invigorated you feel like a bit of a loser.
Often it takes a similar pattern. The person appears to be ‘successful’ and going places, is maybe a mover and a shaker while you’re stuck in inertia and the doldrums. Your life is a mess and you’re going nowhere.
Many of my high school friends turned out to be doctors for instance. Looking back to those school days in our group of five, four turned out to be prefects and wear those stupid little badges…(do you hear the residual bitterness?) while one wasn’t voted for by his friends and teachers to be a prefect.
That loser was me.
I had another moment that reminded me of school. Sitting in a coffee shop in Belfast I thought I spotted a guy who used to go to our school, a guy who we bullied and picked on for his entire school life. I wasn’t 100% sure if it was him, but even the similarity sparked off what complete bastards teenagers can be to each other. They are painful memories and looking back now I feel ashamed that I didn’t stand up for the guys we bullied.
Yet what right do we have to think of ourselves as losers?
The most awful part of that sort of thinking is that we clearly think that there is a class of person out there who is a loser, a bit of a waste of space and good for nothing. They’re a lazy good for nothing bum.What sort of mind can divide people into the good and the bad? What gives us the right to call anyone a loser, even ourselves?
In one sense I think the deeper reality is that we’re all losers, or sinners as the bible name us. Do we have the right to call people sinners or is that a judgement call only God can (and should make)?
As Sufjan Stevens sings about mass murder John Wayne Gacy he ends with these lines
‘And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid’
I find that thought terrifying. Are we better people than those we have classed as losers? Are those people with power and influence, the movers and shakers of this world people we should be jealous of?