My dad was telling me today about how he was at his end-of-year awards ceremony for where he works and how he heard some motivational speaker talk about how he was abused as a kid and what not. When I was in a kid and even in my teens I would really like those type of stories. As I got older I became more skeptical that they were even true and felt that it was a gimmick.
I thought about it more so with Gregory Hood writing the article “My Weakness Is Strong”. It seems that having something happen to you like surviving a disease when no one gave you a chance, or being abused as a kid is sort of like a badge. Three years ago, a linebacker for Notre Dame made some speech about how his girlfriend died or what have you and it was discovered pretty quickly that the whole thing was a hoax. I thought it was bizarre at the time but now that I think about it, I realized that this is an example of munchausen’s disease which is a want for attention by having something happening to you.
I do think though that it might be part of the human condition, albeit in small doses. Someone I knew broke there wrist when I was in third grade and seemed to be at the center of attention. I really wanted to break something too. I was never fucked up enough to actually do something like that on purpose but when I was a little older and still thinking it got you all the attention (I think I was twelve), I actually broke my wrist by hitting the brakes too hard while going down a hill on my bike (and the bike catapulted). Having a cast go up almost to your shoulders (and in May-June no less) dispelled any want for that to ever happen to me again.
More importantly, if having some sort of “story” to tell to people is considered a plus rather than just a waste of time, then it says something about our society. It just seems like this is going to open the way for scammers of sorts – people who defraud insurance companies, perpetrate hate hoaxes and all the other things. I’m almost starting to think that we are entering a 1984 type scenario where in the future, a sizable chunk of the population actually makes a living doing these things.