You know, it often amazes me how people grab words and then refuse to acknowledge bilateral meanings to them.
For example, I can never understand why words like gossip and opportunist are instantly seen as bad. One simply means to talk about somebody or something and the other is a reference to a person who uses the OPPORTUNITY afforded to them by a situation or circumstance to elevate themselves to a space that is beneficial to them.
Gossip is boring to me and I often find myself disconnecting from people who do nothing but talk about other people all the time. But even tho I find this activity boring as hell, I don’t see it as terribly bad. I think for me, my understanding is that an individual who spends all their time focused on the lives of other people (celebrity or not) probably do so because they have NOTHING of value to discuss in their own lives. And while I see that as ultimately pretty pathetic, I don’t see these people as horrible human beings. I simply see them as a category of human being that I have nothing in common with. And that’s cool.
But let’s talk about the word “opportunist”.
It feels like in the last few years this word has gotten a very bum wrap. It started (as far as I can tell) around the “reality show takeover”.
The first time I really heard people talk about opportunists in a bad light was on shows like “Flava of Love” or “I Love New York”. These shows followed a format that is pretty simple. One person is there for love and a group of 11 or 12 compete for their affection.
Well in EVERY season there would end up being some kind of scandal because one of the competing cast would be called out on the claim that they were seen as opportunist. Other cast members would ridicule and banish them based on the fact that they were there to be on TV as opposed to declare a heart wrenching love for a person who they may or may not have even been attracted to AND whom they had just met 2-3 weeks ago…
I loathe reality television now. So you would have to have me in a room with one or more people who out-vote me in the nights’s entertainment decisions to make me watch it. But there was a point that I loved it. And even in those times I could never understand why everybody else (WHO WAS THERE FOR THE SAME REASON, mind you) would lead these campaigns of hatred because there was a person in the bunch who was like “Listen, this is the chance of a lifetime. I sing and dance and a tv spot would help my career”.
Was it truly the action that people are so opposed to or is it the HONESTY itself???
We could go back and forth and deliberate all day on this question but we won’t do that here… My goal in this post is to simply draw attention the the positive meaning of the word opportunist.
There are many people in this life who have been able to take situations that are stressful and turn those times into something that have pushed them to great heights. But what is it about someone who has a boost in life that has them seen as less noble or less deserving? What is this tendency that we have as human beings to ridicule or hate someone who doesn’t have to struggle for everything they acquire?
And if you have never thought it, do so now while I give you my take.
Seems simple to me actually.
There are so many social nuances in the west (and I would presume throughout the world) that dictate the way people move. From gender to sexuality, from religion to economic class there are all these things in society that say we should behave a certain way or have a particular belief because, based on who we are, were supposed to.
And it is AMAZING to me that almost everyone has been conditioned to believe that being an opportunist is wrong. It is also amazing to me that is usually the spiritually broken who perpetuate this truth the most.
I personally believe that opportunists are some of the brightest people on the planet. These are people who are sometimes not even talented but yet have the unbelievable ability to flip an encounter or a meeting into something that sustains them for a duration of time. And the really smart ones use this come up as a means to create other come ups for themselves.
Is that really wrong?
I have to say that I wish I was an opportunist in my early life. I am guilty of walking along with same hum-drum as many other people. Although I have NEVER been able to be quite like other people, I REALLY REALLY have given it a genuine effort in order to try to be.
That has gotten me NOWHERE. Nowhere very slowly.
I CHOOSE now to be an opportunist. If something or someone doesn’t add value or a means of a resource to me and my life I dismiss them instantly. I don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t feel like a bad person for it. And I would encourage others to perhaps apply a similar logic to their own existence.
The general public will have you believe that it is wrong to exploit an opportunity for your own personal gain. But that makes ZERO sense. You have an obligation to self FIRST and anything else second.
Now I do hope that we are all able to apply what j like to refer to as common sense to this statement. Right? Obviously, you cannot go around abusing people and expecting that same energy to not flow back towards you. So THAT is not what I am talking about.
I am speaking to the ability to make all your steps based on truth. For me this is the best thing because even those who do not like or agree with you can still say they have been exposed to your integrity. Which will ultimately gain respect EVEN when there isn’t necessarily any appreciation.
The older I get the more I realize I don’t need your appreciation. But I will have your respect.
In closing this post I want to reiterate that being an opportunist is NOT a bad thing.
If you are a beautiful young woman who is able to utilize her looks to get what she NEEDS, do it.
If you are street savvy young man who has to use your street connections to slide your way into Wall Street, do it.
If you are an aspiring artist who has an opportunity to get a BS television spot to gain the exposure you need to infiltrate the entertainment world, do it.
If you are a middle aged divorcee to an affluent individual and are given a chance to now independently sustain your existence based on just that fact, do it.
At the end of the day EVERYONE is an opportunist in one capacity or another. It’s time to remove the stigma attached to the word.