I want to be like House -- the brilliant but personally reprehensible doctor who's the main character in the television show by the same name (I'll assume, for the sake of this post, that you know the character).  I want to be like House for the same reasons, mostly, that I also want to be like Jack Nicholson, Bob Dylan, Johnnie Depp, Woody Harrelson, Steve Jobs, and a bunch of others.

I used to think I wanted to be like House because House is an asshole.  He's arrogant, abrasive, uncaring (well, at least he pretends to be), and brutally honest.  Well, OK, I do admire that side of him, because it is so far from my own personality, appeals to me.    Nicholson is like that, too.  Even Jobs, or Dylan.

But that's not it.  I realized recently that being an asshole is not what really draws me.  That's just a cherry on top.

The real thing I like about the people like this that I admire is that they are rule breakers.  I originally made that the title of this post, but I thought I'd be giving it away.  See how clever I am?

You see, I've always been a good boy.  I've always, or almost always, followed the rules.  I play the game.  Toe the line.  Know when to quit.  Find the happy medium.  Aim to please.  Not House. 

House got his job, and keeps it, because he's so damned good at what he does.  Oh, he plays a game, but not the game.  He keeps his job despite all of his other, less palatable traits.  I've always been pretty good at my job(s) -- I'd like to think even above average -- but I've always really found and kept employment because I get along well with others.  People like me, and because they like me, they are willing to forgive a certain level of mediocrity.  House is the opposite.

But I digress-- back to the rule-breaking part.  Somewhere along the line to this revelation, I began to wonder if maybe it's the rule breakers that actually make the real rules.  When someone tells you "this is how you play the game," and you play it some other way, haven't you just changed the game?

Leave a comment

Add comment