By Bruce Edwin
In Hollywood, there is generally always someone out there trying to destroy you. Whether it is an actor that tries to ruin your chance of getting the part you both want, an agent or director that ripped you off, or simply the raging lunatic– the anonymous stalker online, slandering and lying about you. In Hollywood, if you expect to survive and thrive for any length of time, you can be sure that eventually, you will most likely encounter an enemy.
While most people out there in the world ‘are’ basically good, in Hollywood, it may be fair to say that the ‘most’ in that statement is at least a little bit ‘less’ by some percent. Like America, Hollywood is a melting pot of the world, where reportedly a hundred thousand or more people from all over the world travel to each year to try make it in, whatever they think that ‘it’ is.
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For most, that ‘it’ is the ever elusive ‘FAME AND FORTUNE.’ Most of them fail, running back home with their “tail between their legs” (as my acting coach friend likes to say), having failed miserably, and then the next wave gets off the bus. Fresh meat–as Hollywood calls them. After a few years, if the ‘fresh meat’ lasted that long, they have generally suffered a few battle scars, and are a little more wiser– if not totally jaded.
So what do you do when you–that nice kid from Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, or wherever, gets your first taste of Tinseltown’s ugly side, and you get screwed over in one way or another? What do you do? Do you fight back? Go ballistic online? Sue? Knock their lights out? Or do you try to let it ride, try forgive, forget, and move on?
Turn the Other Cheek or Destroy?
This question is essentially a moral dilemma of sorts. Because if you are a good, happy, honest person that just so happened to be the victim of an evil jerk, you may feel your spirit polluted to some degree if you get down in the trenches and confront them. Do you fight back? Walk away and be quiet? Or what?
How we respond to bad treatment from people should depend on various things;
1, Did the person deliberately hurt you?
2, Have they done this to other people or to you before?
3, Do you think they will do it again?
4, Did they apologize?
5, Do you consider they are basically good or bad?
6, Are they willing to communicate with you about it or are they hiding from you and
thus avoiding responsibility?
7, To what degree have they hurt you?
8, How quickly did you or can you recover from the hurt?
9, Is your philosophy one of forgiveness, or of revenge?
10, If you choose revenge, or what some prefer to consider ‘retribution’,
how, when, and where will the fighting stop? Or will it stop?!
These are some of the many serious questions we should ask ourselves if, or when someone does us wrong. It is one thing to get accidentally screwed over, but it is quite another to have someone do it on purpose. And, how we interpret and respond to the act of perceived wrongdoing can effect us for better or worse, for the rest of our lives.
As a result, it is imperative;
1, Do not overreact to perceived insults or even provably known actual insults or injuries.
2, Put things into perspective. Give your words and actions a self-imposed delay switch of at least 24 to 48 hours before you make a serious decision as to attack back. I will tell you from experience– while not the easiest in the short-term, forgiveness is usually the best option. If you go around trying to get ‘even’ with ‘every’ person you think did you wrong, you will most likely spend your whole life trying to get even, never catch up, and never have time for anything else–including any happiness in life. It is no fun being angry all the time and having many enemies. It may be fun and entertaining for a while, but it gets old–fast. And, for every action, there is a reaction. If you try to fight back against someone you think did you wrong, then you run the risk of them once again committing another abusive act against you, which could be worse than the first. It is no fun having to watch your back or be paranoid. Mainstream media attempts to induce this fear enough already.
3, If you do have to fight back to defend yourself in some way, don’t let the fight consume you. Don’t become obsessed with your ‘enemy.’ In fact, don’t even give them the power of being ‘your’ enemy. Don’t honor them with such a lofty title. Many of our so-called enemies actually ‘seek’ to be our enemy, and are proud and most happy when they are. Sometimes, one of the most radical acts we can do is to forgive our enemies!
Sometimes, an enemy hits us so hard that it really hurts, and they will keep on doing damage if we don’t fight back. This is similar to the thug on the street that attacks someone and starts beating them up. One should run away fast–yes, but if they have the person in a choke-hold and are trying to choke them to death for example, then they better take some action to fight back, and fast–if they don’t want to end up badly hurt, or worse–dead. Sometimes, we need to fight back–and hard. This is never pleasant, but in Hollywood, where the competition is fierce, and psychotic jerks abound that will sometimes crawl out of the gutter and attack, sometimes it is necessary.
When you decide that you have fight back– if it is not a physical attack, try to set aside one hour or so on one specific day per week to handle it, until it is dealt with. The rest of the time during your life, give it no attention, and give them no thought. Do not allow an enemy to infect your mind and ruin your peace within your soul or your happiness. This is exactly what the spiritual or human enemy wants–they want to steal your peace and your happiness. Do not let them.
Great men have fallen by small attacks from weak enemies, simply because they gave them too much power over their emotions. They let the enemy steal their peace, their joy, and thus, their success in life. Many great men have allowed the infection of hatred to poison their body to the point where their health suffers to such a degree, they end up dead. It is true, that stress, and anger can kill. It is a brutal, yet silent and covert enemy actually covered up within an enemies own attack! But like a silent bomb, stress and hate concerning an enemy can covertly kill if one lets it. Do NOT give an enemy that power over you! This is exactly what they want!
The enemy wants you stressed, upset, angry, and sick! Instead, rule your own mind, your heart, and your soul. Let your spirit be filled with love and happiness. Forgive as much as you can, give amnesty to all you can reason to, and put yourself in your enemy’s position. Be a man or woman of logic, of grace, and of peace.
If you believe in ‘God,’ you surely want God to be forgiving toward you. We are certainly not perfect human beings. If you don’t believe in God, or care about God’s forgiveness, then you at least want your friends and loved ones to forgive you when you accidentally do wrong. Right? Wouldn’t it be terrible if–every time we made a mistake or did wrong, everyone shunned us, and left us forever, or attacked us back and then left? That would be awful! And so, what harm is it to try to forgive a stranger, when we would at least try to extend the same courtesy to a loved one in order to keep them in our life, and we would like them to forgive us?
When we treat a stranger as an enemy by not forgiving them, we can not expect a stranger to forgive us the next time we harm them. Life is–whether you realize it or not, like a wheel of karma. When we treat someone wrong, they will want to treat us wrong. Or if they don’t, then someone else will–sooner or later. The golden rule of “Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated” is of vital importance. It is not only a wise moral decision, it is in fact, a key to success in life, and yes–to Hollywood.
The Art of War for Hollywood
The Art of War for Hollywood then, is not so much a war with others, but rather, it is a war within yourself. That is, it is a battle within your own mind and soul to rise above your ego, to your higher self. To forgive others as you yourself would like to be forgiven by God–if you will, or by your loved ones, or by strangers yourself when you harm another. War is never good, it is never a solution to strive for. An eye for an eye, as the saying goes, leaves everyone blind. Granted, sometimes we must strike back, to stop an abuser and preserve our life or the life of our loved ones or our business. But if and when you can, forgive. Or if you can not forgive, then at least grant amnesty, grant them grace, grace to go on in peace, hoping they learned. Grant yourself the grace to live in peace, and hold love above all, as your highest virtue. Hatred literally leads to death, and love is life. Give love, and spread the word. This is the Art of War for Hollywood. Peace. –Bruce Edwin