“You are someone else; I am still right here.”



As daunting a task as it is, reading the comments in ‘sphere blogs is rewarding.

Tonight, for me, that’s quite an understatement.



You’ve no idea how much this comment resounded within me:


Long time readers of my work (here and elsewhere) know, beyond doubt, how much this particular portion of her words spoke to me:


“Consider St. Lawrence. Ordered to bring forth the church’s riches, he brings forth the city’s poor. He quipped with his enemies ‘Turn me over, I’m done on this side.’ That man died like a Roman. He had serious cajones.
But what if a man with principle Lawrence lived in our times. He wouldn’t get the dignity of an honorable death. He’d have to choose between wordly success (at the expense of his principles, essentially acting out of fear of authority: not Alpha) or actively choosing the route of poverty and obscurity. In following his principles, he bows to no man but himself. But he’s not a conventional ‘winner’.”


See, everyone wants to talk about “being Alpha”.

This is “alpha”; that is “alpha”.

I’m here to tell you:

Sometimes being “alpha” is shitty.



Sure, it’s nice to command a room.

To have women giggle and gossip favorably concerning you.

To have men respect you.

To have them seek your council and leadership.

But that’s only the half of it.



No one talks about the pressure.

The constant battle to stay True to one’s mission.

To ignore the derision.

To go through job after job because everyone in management thinks you’re gunning for their middle-management position.

To tell your bosses they’re [literally] crooks.

It’s exhausting telling people when they are being foolish, deluded or simply an asshole.

It’s painful to look in the faces of loved ones and call them out.



Sure, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about the opinions of others.

But it’s wearisome speaking out (in real life) when no one else will.
Knowing everyone is taking a step back so that it appears you’re the one stepping forward to take the challenge.

[Anyone spoiling for a fight obviously hasn’t been in many real ones.

Or has a death wish.]



See, if you’re a natural:

You can’t choose.

You don’t get to “shut it off”.

You don’t get to simply “ride along”.

You lead.

Or you feel like you’re dying.

Even though you know leading will likely kill you.

Metaphorically or literally.



Even with all of that, the hardest part is this:

The knowledge that people trust you.

They have faith in you to not lead them astray.

They place themselves in your hands.

They give you the opportunity to carry them.

Or to crush them.



Every man wants to be the fastest gun in the West.

But they forget that, if they get to be such:

Every other man still wants to be the fastest gun in the West.

Every man wants the hearts of pretty women.

But they’ll have to break a few, at some point.

Thus, I learned a long time ago:

To an honorable man, a crown is just as much a fetter as leg-irons.



Sure, everyone likes honorable men.

So long as they’re dead.

Living is another story, entirely.



Would I choose a different path, if I could?

I can’t say.

It’s not an option.

So I don’t think on it.

I just keep riding ahead of the posse.

Sometimes they’re following me.

Sometimes they’re chasing me to lynch me.

But I ride on, regardless.

It’s all I know.

It’s all I have.



19 Responses to ““You are someone else; I am still right here.””

  1. And that’s why it’s crown of thorns on Jesus’ head?


  2. This is an incredible post. Thank you – I feel a lot of the same things and I’m in no way anything near a natural alpha (or male of course). I am bossy at times though 🙂 and I know my mind for the most part.

  3. Heavy lies the crown…

  4. The second set of points you made about being “alpha”…you never hear the PUAs talk about that. I don’t have to wonder why.

    But if you don’t mind the second part coming with the territory…then it makes the first parts all the more sweeter.

    • Earl,

      I think an honorable man will always “mind the second part coming with the territory”.

      I know I do, certainly.

      But I agree with your sentiment in that it makes the benefits more appreciable.

      Knowing you paid highly for something tends to make you treasure it all the more.

  5. Just Saying Says:

    Johnny Cash made almost every song he’s ever done – his. I hear other versions and songs that were done first by other groups, but when I think of a song he did, I think of his as being “the standard” from which all others are measured. “Hurt” is one that seemed to come from his soul.

  6. lauratheringmistress Says:

    That song always gets me…

    Beautifully put. What no one gets when they talk about the “unfairness” of leadership and submission is that both are death to self. You’ve stated well what taking leadership seriously costs.

  7. […] importance of faith and hope for men. Related: The burdens of leadership. Related: The difference between thug and alpha is the […]

  8. vmunchausen Says:

    This is an excellent post.
    I have been told by several of my bosses that I am a natural leader. (I disagree because it takes a shitload of work).
    I am lucky to have good men to lead, and great men to follow.
    I rarely think of the pressure. Most of the time is is like that joke about the fish asking what water is. The pressure is immense and ever-present… Like gravity..
    Although, there are times when I remember how easy life was before everyone was watching. Before I had to be ON all of the time.
    I don’t know if I can agree that it is shitty, but I it’s an interesting life.
    Either way, I can see that you understand.
    Got a feeling we would have a lot to talk about were we to meet.

  9. Reminds me of Cato the Younger.

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