If you haven’t watched his speech, in essence, he regretted sacrificing his relationships and social life in order to earn his status as Valedictorian. He was elated for all but 15 seconds when it was confirmed, but arrived at the 16th second with emptiness
“Relationships are where we get to influence, impact, and change people’s lives. Your life can not be meaningful without them.” – Kyle Martin, TKA Class of 2019 Valedictorian
I too know the struggle Kyle. I sacrificed my own relationships in high school for the same achievement, and went even further, dedicating my summers, weekends, and some after-school sessions to strengthen my SAT scores and college applications to enter a top university.
I was satisfied with this peak after high school, and completely threw grades out the window when I started university, going full social life, even joining a fraternity, and well, the rest is a hazy history. (I did earn consecutive Dean’s List awards when I returned to college, however).
Despite only spending three semesters at that university, I’m very fortunate that I still have the ability to call a few of those guys up and hang with them if I were in town.
But that’s just the thing; I’d have to be in town.
You think relationships are important to you because of immediacy and proximity, but after you and your friends move away to start your careers, not many of these relationships will survive the distance. And a relationship like a wife and child will come at the cost of your other platonic relationships.
Even your parents would want you to move out and start your own life eventually.
You can’t always take people with you, and that’s why I personally wouldn’t advise tailoring your life’s meaning to coincide with such independent external forces such as social relationships.
For me, being Valedictorian will always be, like David Goggins says, a trophy in my mind.
Achieving your goals creates a reservoir of confidence.
It’s not about the 16th second, but about the 16th week or the 16th month or the 16th year when you suddenly lose your confidence and begin to doubt yourself again.
Your personal accomplishments are permanent reminders that you have seen greatness, and reflecting on this proof of your past success can propel you to overcome future struggles and achieve future goals.
Kyle was only 0.06 points above his competitor for Valedictorian. She and the other students below him in rank may never attain the same level of confidence in the future.
Kyle ended his speech on Faith, and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
But what is Faith, other than a stronger synonym for confidence?
If I had to my put faith in anyone, it would actually be the salutatorian.
While Kyle could not foresee the 16th second of his life after earning his Valedictorian status, Lauren was able to appreciate the duality of this graduation ceremony, appreciating all the small steps that led up to this grand event, but also recognizing that it’s all a much smaller moment in the entirety of her life and of time as a whole.
“Seniors, as we stand on the cusp of a new season, I challenge you to maintain perspective. Like tonight’s graduation is merely a gradation in the scheme of life, our lives are a gradation in the swath of eternity. And so, I ask you, do you know the one that holds tomorrow?” – Lauren Arrington, TKA Class of 2019 Salutatorian
I have no place to tell others what should make them happy. If your life feels more fulfilling pursuing relationships rather than witnessing the extent of your potential, that is what you have decided to keep in your heart throughout your journey.
I just believe that you should hold no regrets Kyle, because your accomplishment was indeed worth it, and the relationships you hold so dearly can not only be more meaningful, but increasingly numerous and influential when we have achieved our full potential.
Were your friends and family not more proud of you because of your accomplishment?
If you were not Valedictorian, you would have never had the platform to give your speech and influence your entire senior class, and, if not for your controversial topic, the 5 million+ viewers on YouTube as well.
“A lesson learned should be a lesson shared”, as Kyle said.
Likewise, there is one lesson, but two paths to learning it, in MGTOW philosophy.
The first is learning it the hard way, which is the painstaking process of redefining your life after the highly coveted relationships you tethered your life’s meaning behind have disastrously dissolved. This usually occurs during a divorce.
However, you can also discover MGTOW the easy way, which is heeding the lessons from these previously burned men, and choosing to stay far away from the fire.
“A clever person solves problems. A wise person avoids it” – Albert Einstein
Then there are the men who go Monk: The ones that are willing to go down the path of life relatively alone.
They have greatly limited or sworn off all relationships with women/romantic partners, most platonic friendships, and quite possibly, even their own families.
Some men choose this path for the freedom, the peace, and quiet.
But others, like myself, have chosen this path to simply see ourselves, in our entirety. It is a path of self-knowledge and self-sufficiency.
Who are we, exactly, without the influence of others? Could we still function, alone, without society? If you were left with no one but yourself to serve, without any distractions, could you complete your greatest work?
What is your great work?
Most MGTOW are completely content retiring early due to the financial independence earned from not having to provide for a wife or kids.
But to the rare few of us in MGTOW, the 1%, the radical monks, sustenance and wealth building are just trivial logistical concerns.
What truly sustains us is the complete output of our full potential. The only regret to have is not ever knowing the feeling of having the full weight of your being behind a singular goal, and courageously setting out to accomplish it.
Not much from this world can be taken with you to the grave, or the afterlife, so if reflecting on all the relationships you made throughout your life is going to make you smile on your deathbed, by all means, live that life to the fullest.
But “a lesson learned should be a lesson shared” as Kyle said, so here is my lesson:
The happiness you can create while completely alone is a happiness you can experience every second of your life, and not just the 16th.
See you on the Far Side – Monk Moon Base
Do you have any regrets in life? What would make you happy? What do you think is the extent of your full potential? Feel free to share in the comments.
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