I have always had this outrageous thought about myself. I think that I am the good guy in my own kind of adventure. Since I am me, I cannot possibly be a bad guy in my own story, can I?
I am the protagonist. People come and go around me, co-exist with me and eventually play a smaller or bigger role in my story line.
Most people are innocent bystanders. They are there just for a few blinks of the eye, just for me never to see them again. I imagine them as bag of unfamiliar faces who are spread all over me world just to make it seem busy and lively.
Others are there to converse with me and to provide some service. They are the filler roles and the helpers that assist the plot to thicken or to lighten. They are the supporting actors who allow my adventure to unveil. The cashier in the local supermarket, a neighbor who has a barking dog, or even a stranger that I helped once on the street are part of this category.
Then, there are the main actors with bigger or smaller roles who play on different sub-stories of my life. Sometimes the sub-stories are intertwined, and the same guy has to play multiple parts, and in some other cases, the person is manning a smaller independent story by themselves. I would place here all the people that I have around me, and I keep some kind of a relationship with such as colleagues, friends, family and significant others.
And last but not least, I have few but enough villains in my story. Malevolent personalities that endeavour to make a dent on my shiny armour. In this category, I would place a handful of people and I could even enumerate them with their names. They represent the ultimate opposite of me or even my arch nemeses. The black spots in my white canvas. The shadow parts of my adventure.
Every adventure needs a villain, isn’t it? The beauty comes in the ups and downs and in the struggles not in the flat surfaces.
And then my adventure unfolds as a typical fairytale. I have to confront the evildoers or to stop them from harming my inner circle. And each sub-story closes or opens with a rise or the fall of a villainous person.
But thinking back to it I can see a flaw to this worldview.
It is understandable to think that I live in a personal adventure and fairytale. I believe that most people do. We all work overtime in our brains to weave the narrative in order to make sense of the everyday insanity.
But seeing myself as the sole valiant knight can create fallacies regarding who is the bad guy in my stories.
Because I believe that everyone sees their self as the good guy. Everyone resonates with the valiant knight. Everyone thinks that their interests and values are the ones on the right.
But that means that even my personal villains are the good guys in their own stories and I am the villain in theirs. Or even worst, I might be the bad guy involuntarily in someone else's adventure.
Because at the end of the day, there are no good guys and bad guys. There is just tribalism and an never ending battle of US vs THEM. And deliberate or unnecessary conflicts.
So maybe, I should try to get down from my high horse. The whole world does not revolve around me and I do not always have to rationalize my actions as divine and heroic.
At the end, we are all villains in someone else's story.
Better keep that in mind.