Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Being true to yourself

When I was in high school, there was a guy that tried so hard to impress everybody. Actually, there were a lot of those, but I'm thinking of one in particular (and maybe one or two others). I'll amalgamate them into one person - "Barry", which was my nickname for Legion in Mass Effect 2. Barry was an extremely awkward guy, prone to making inappropriate comments at the most inappropriate times, and would just constantly bug everybody about whatever he was on about. We tried to be accommodating, but this isn't an alternate universe where kids shun intolerant people and are nice to the ones who don't fit in. We were pretty big dicks to Barry most of the time.

We were so hard on Barry because he was obviously fake. He would make up stories about things that had happened to him. He would claim to have drawn or written things that were obviously not his. When Barry was called out on this behavior, he would get angry and defensive. Naturally, after enough times of this pattern we just started ridiculing him instead of trying to help him out.

I'm not sure (and certainly not qualified to speculate) on what causes Barry and people like him to act the way they do. I do know that being true to oneself is a surefire cure. Taking all of the time and energy expended on appropriating others' work and putting it toward doing something wholly original, even if it turns out quite poorly, is a learning experience. Copying somebody else's work is just dishonest and does more harm than good in the end.