I found this image on John Green’s Tumblr and it actually had exactly to do with a conversation I was having today, a conversation I figured I’d expand to here because, well, I actually remembered I could expand it here. Yeah, I know it’s a silly joke comic, but it gets to me. It’s a joke that, like everything else worth talking about, is based largely in truth. The bottom left image particularly haunts me, a joke that’s funny because it’s horrible (and it’s happened). Is it possible to do something great — lastingly great, historically great, with a wide impact — without setting everything else aside? Particularly, without setting good relationships aside?
I tend to be of the opinion that in order to be great at something, like really, lastingly great at something, you’d best be obsessed with it. And usually that obsession comes at a cost. Less time spent well with people seems to be a pretty common one.
Can ambition and care for others coexist? I’ve been thinking about this question since seventh grade and I’m still unsure. But most days I still think the answer is “no.” I recognize that may be a false dichotomy. But it appears to be a pretty strong trend, at least in both the historical and personal examples I’ve seen.
So give me some other examples, if you’ve got em and are willing to share. I’m curious. I want my theory to be disproven.