Do nice guys always finish last? If so, I’d like to know why. Being a generally nice guy I have a vested interest. I don’t want to finish last. Nobody does. So where did the phrase come from and how did it become so ingrained in our collective consciousness?
In 1946, Brooklyn Dodgers manager Lee Durocher said this about their bitter rivals, the New York Giants, “The nice guys are all over there, in seventh place.” Which at that time was almost last place. That’s where it started. Someone took the ball and ran with it, an action that makes no sense in baseball, and we ended up with Nice guys finish last. And when you think about it that shouldn’t make any sense either.
But for some reason being a nice guy – or girl – can be a challenge these days. Always operating in integrity in a world where corruption runs amok can be frustrating to say the least. When you try to do the right thing and find yourself quagmired in one obstruction after another, the temptation to throw in the integrity towel can be overwhelming. After all, everyone else gets away with cutting corners, right? Why not you?
I believe, if only for the endless number of rules that exist, some are made to be broken but there has to be a line somewhere. The corruption that permeates our banks and government for example is the result of many years of blurred lines being crossed with no concern for consequences. Eventually the blurred lines just disappear. It’s a slippery slope, and as an old friend used to say, “Integrity is like virginity, you can only lose it once.”
Next time you reach your limit of things that can go wrong in one day, try to remember there’s wisdom and reward in all of life’s obstacles even if they seem unnecessary (and a complete pain in the ass) at the time.
I’m not one to thump bibles but there are some pretty enlightening messages in that big book. I like to think of them as stories up for interpretation. The story in the Book of Job talks about overcoming insurmountable obstacles.
Job was blessed with wealth and a loving family. He was devoted to God and praised him. God wondered what would happen if Job didn’t have such a great life. Would he still be a devoted follower? To find out he took away his wealth and killed his children.
That’s a pretty harsh test if you ask me.
But Job responded with divine grace, “The lord has given and the lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the lord.” So the lord then inflicted him with disease.
Are you kidding me?
Job’s friends try to console him by telling him God would cause no one to suffer innocently. They show unwavering belief in God’s wisdom. But Job curses God anyway. He proclaims a just God would not treat him so harshly, patience in suffering is impossible and the Creator should not take his creatures so lightly, to come against them with such force.
Can you blame him for being bitter? The guy’s got nothing left.
In his continued suffering and search for answers Job asks, “Where is wisdom to be found?” He concludes it has been hidden from man. He announces his innocence and lists the principles he has lived by, demanding an answer from God.
God speaks to Job through a vision but never explains his suffering. Instead, he responds by asking, “Are you so wise that you can judge the will of god? Do you really understand my intentions? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?”
Hearing this, Job confesses his lack of knowledge of “things beyond him.” Now that he has seen God where previously he only heard him, he retracts his curses and God restores his blessed life. His soul is evolved as a result of his hardship.
One hell of a test to learn the wisdom you seek is found in faith.
The story is symbolic of the heartaches and trials we face everyday. That which does not kill us truly makes us stronger. Every predicament we face was placed there to help our souls evolve. Every time we overcome an obstacle with our integrity intact, our light shines brighter.
This is a powerful message to all the nice guys, good girls and anyone who feels like an outsider for living your life with integrity. Keep plowing through the obstacles. Shine your light even on those who seem to be standing in your way. You and your eternal soul will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.
“The more trials you face, the closer you are to the light. In the midst of joy, heaven is near, but you are also approaching heaven when you find yourself in the depths of sorrow.” – Ryuho Okawa