Conversations For Transformation:
Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
Conversations For Transformation
Essays By Laurence Platt
Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
Nobody Is Never A Jerk Sometimes
Jessup Cellars, Yountville, California, USA
April 11, 2016
Greatness isn't never being a jerk. Nobody is never a jerk sometimes.
That's not where greatness
Being great carries no guarantee you won't be a jerk. No, greatness
in owning it when you're being a jerk, then quickly taking
responsibility for it and cleaning it up. That's greatness. There's no
who doesn't display a degree of jerkishess at some point or another.
are just jerks sometimes. It goes with the territory. You can put that
in the bank. I've been a jerk. You've been a jerk.
will be jerks. Great
clean up their jerkishess. Awesome
clean up their jerkishness faster.
Being in an inquiry into what made me
like a jerk whenever I
like a jerk, is arduous at best and withering at worst.
When I look back on the moments when I
a riveting movie whose camera has captured my every look in
and whose microphone has captured my every tone and my every
and my every subtle vocal nuance. Even though I hate it, I can't look
away. I can't block my ears. This movie doesn't lie. That's me up there
on the silver screen being a total jerk, sometimes even to people who
me, sometimes even to people whom I
These are not exactly my shining moments. And I can't change one single
frame of this movie. Each and every one of its scenes are
of my real life. They
They're history. It's all on film.
was I had an epiphany regarding the utility of this kind of inquiry. I
saw that inquiring into what makes me
like a jerk, really isn't a
am I a jerk from time to time? Who knows! The bigger
is can I be responsible for it? Having
that, I've reverted to confronting and owning that I'm a jerk from time
to time, and cleaning up the impact my being a jerk has had on people.
That's waaay more
My process for cleaning up the impact my being a jerk has had on
people, is simple. I've
back in touch with every single
person with whom I've been a jerk, taken responsibility for my
behavior, and apologized for it. I've also cleaned it up with every
single person no longer
(yes it's possible to do that) as well as with those whom I can't
trace. That, in and of itself, allowed me to
the past, and move on with my life with
And that was enough ... for a short while at least. Then I realized
there's something even more fundamental which is called for. Being the
occasional jerk is so intrinsic to being
that simply cleaning it up isn't enough. What I realized I
had to do was embrace my own jerkishness. Cleaning it up,
in and of itself as it turns out, doesn't cut to the chase.
Embracing it and taking responsibility for it ie owning it
then cleaning it up,
to handle being a jerk, not if but whenever I'm being a jerk.
For me, becoming
(which is a loaded term at best, yet in this
good enough for jazz)
isn't trying to
to a place of being super
ie to a place where I'm never a jerk any more. That would be like
a dog trying not to be a
To me, becoming
is becoming fully
And becoming fully
calls for embracing my intrinsic
jerkishness, taking responsibility for it, and then cleaning it up, not
if but whenever it manifests.
I'll bet you good
you've all noticed that a jerk who doesn't take responsibility for
being a jerk, and who's in denial of being a jerk, is a jerk. And yet a
jerk who notices they're being a jerk, who takes responsibility for
being a jerk, and who cleans it up fast, is an inspiration, yes? Notice
it's the same behavior - yet with different ownership. That's
it. And that's all. It's the
we have between these two different
of owning our intrinsic
jerkishness, which results in dramatically dissimilar impacts being a
jerk has on our individual
and on the
as a whole.