World, Writing, Wealth discussion

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message 1: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments Some people work all their lives to be number one - politicians, businessmen, actors, writers. How could being number one be a bad thing?


message 2: by Michel (last edited Aug 28, 2018 10:27PM) (new)

Michel Poulin Careful what you wish for: you may get it! Basically, if you become 'Number One', it also means that you are now the target of all the others who also want to become 'Number One' by taking your place. They say that its lonely at the top.


message 3: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments That's what I was thinking, that loneliness would be the worst thing about being number one. You never know why someone wants to be your friend or lover; you have to be suspicious of everyone, even your closest friends.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments It depends what you sacrifice to achieve this goal. If it's a sport and you compete and excel cleanly - applause and respect, if it's something else and you get to the top doing atrocious things then it's bad. Another question is what you do once reaching the top. If from being constructive you just become destructive, you better go.


message 5: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I believe that, right now, you have in the United States the perfect example of a 'Number One' who got to the top with a pretty poor reputation and is now essentially becoming destructive by wanting to keep his power by bullying whoever is not an unconditional supporter of his.


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11759 comments Leaving aside something like sports, where others chasing to be number one is expected, and I suppose in some like heavyweight boxing, painful physically, the other places can be really painful mentally. If you are a good person, you take on the responsibility for everyone underneath you in the rankings, and you are prepared to go. If you are a lesser person, as many politicians are, you are usually there for the ego. As Michel points out, there is a rather awful person as number one in the US, but if you want to look at destructive politicians, have a look at the behaviour of recent Australian leaders. No PM in the last 7 years has managed one three year term, and their politics seems to be one sequence of preparations for internal coups after another.


message 7: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin One 'Number One' who apparently started well but is now unraveling is Pope Francis. He had the reputation of a caring, compassionat man ready to reform the Catholic Church around the World. However, his attempts to defend his Church when faced with indefensible acts, plus his latest 'faux pas' in Ireland and his cringe-worthy declaration about young homosexuals needing to see psychiatrists have thrown a dark veil over his papacy.

Overall, seeing the troubles that being a 'Number One' can bring you, makes me appreciate the calm and safety of my own quiet life near the bottom of the social scale.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments I just want to note that striving to succeed, move ahead, excel and become a numero uno is usually a healthy ambition where morals may pave or hinder the ascend. Lacking of this ambition, i.e. wanting to live well, for example without surpassing anyone, in my opinion is also perfectly cool. It's important that both types have a reasonable playground to realize themselves..


message 9: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments Good example, Michel, and I'm with you. The quiet life is my metier.


message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments I was thinking about Trump today and how lonely he must be, this man who has so much power.


message 11: by Michel (last edited Sep 07, 2018 07:16AM) (new)

Michel Poulin The danger is that Trump, through loneliness and paranoia, could further retreat into himself and simply stop listening to the people around him, something he already does too little of. Then, he could end up behaving like past dictators who found themselves alone in command and take some truly regrettable decisions, like pushing the USA into another war.


message 12: by Nik (last edited Sep 07, 2018 09:16AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments Scout wrote: "I was thinking about Trump today and how lonely he must be, this man who has so much power."

Not sure a lot change from his pre-presidential life. He still has his family and many millions of Americans still supporting him. A unifying, embracing figure - he's probably not. A happy president - probably not too..
There are news that Kim wants de-nuclearization to end b4 Trump's term. Maybe these bizarre guys give him some kind of satisfaction -:)


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments Michel wrote: "....pushing the USA into another war."

Many expect that from him, but so far he seems remarkably not trigger-happy


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11759 comments Maybe not with the military, but in this morning's paper here, it seems he has the target of putting tariffs on ALL Chinese imports. That suggests that single-=handedly he is going to set of a serious trade war.


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments Ian wrote: "Maybe not with the military, but in this morning's paper here, it seems he has the target of putting tariffs on ALL Chinese imports. That suggests that single-=handedly he is going to set of a seri..."

Can he maybe claim 'self-defense'?


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11759 comments Maybe, but the real question is where is this going to end?


message 17: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments How important is it to have someone to bounce your ideas off of, to discuss ideas with?


message 18: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11759 comments I guess, Scout, that depends on whether you will listen to them. That does not mean you have to accept the other views, but I think most people would benefit from hearing others' thoughts.


message 19: by Nik (last edited Sep 11, 2018 06:03AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments An autocratic, Napoleonic ruler would not be interested in other opinions..


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11759 comments Nik, even Hitler had frequent meetings with advisors. He may not have taken a lot of notice of some of them, but he still insisted on meetings through most of his tenure. At the end, probably no, but there were not very many options then anyway.


message 21: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments I'd say that it's lonely at the top, whether in politics, acting, music. You just don't know whom you can trust when you're in the public eye and you have a lot to lose.


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