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Poor Cousin LD

For fun, I once asked a number of friends and family what type of person they found more irritating – the cocky, arrogant braggart who has achieved what he or she claims, or the braggart who has achieved little but attempts to boost his self-esteem and image in the eyes of others with exaggeration and lies. Certainly the very talented, gifted, and fortunate who rubs achievement in other’s faces is, to me, a very cruel display of insensitivity and lack of humility. Yet, all of whom I asked the question found the braggart with nothing but empty victories to be the most offensive, perhaps because two sins, boasting and lying, are greater than one.

This is why my cousin, whom I will call LD, was so offensive to everyone who met him. He had no friends, only family to suffer his excesses. For me, he comes to mind often when I hear excessive bragging. LD was a borderline pathological braggart, if such a thing exists. To hear him speak was to hear of a man who had done everything and had scaled the walls of human achievement. In actuality, LD had numerous jobs, primarily in the food industry, managing small local restaurants.

He was not just guilty of inflated claims, but also of stepping on others if it served his need to impress and boost his ego. One day was particularly disturbing because LD decided to punish someone for his own gain. And, like a lion on the hunt, he chose the weakest, not the deserving, as his prey for dinner.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and on this family visit to his home, LD began a rant about an employee who was not performing to his liking. As he provided us with details of the man’s work, he whipped himself up into a frenzy, telling us how this employee should be fired. Hell, he said, I’m going to fire him right now. He picked up the phone, and in a most humiliating way and for all to hear quite well, LD fired that poor helpless chap. When through with the call, he strutted like any peacock, so all would know, firsthand, the power that he wielded. On occasion, we found his bragging humorous or entertaining, but on that day, like most, it was only embarrassing and sad.

Recently, while touring the Bronx, a real estate agent pointed out two art storage and shipping companies that had enormous inventories of fine art and were virtually unknown: Transcon International and New Yorker Warehouse. Why the Bronx? It is an excellent location for in-city and out-of-city transport, the rents are cheap, and the Bronx is the perfect locale for the business wanting to keep a low profile. I was told that one of these places may inventory as much as a quarter BILLION dollars of art, dealing with the major museums of New York City. Yet they are virtually unknown, with barely a placard on the door and a name which tells passersby nothing about what really lies behind those walls. New Yorker Warehouse’s truck displays an enigmatic and nondescript “N.Y.W.” I found nothing online about either company, except one article in the New York Times that gives very few details.

In a world of social networking, tireless self-promotion has become the norm. But for those who have achieved much, whether individual or business, their work or enterprise speaks for itself – no need to self-promote, for the accolades will come. And, at one extreme, there are those who deliberately shun notoriety, feeling that only ill can come of publicity. For companies like Transcon and NYW, there is no benefit to notoriety, only risk to extraordinarily valuable inventories. Keep a low profile, don’t brag, just run the business. And, were he alive, I am sure they would have no interest in hiring a man like Poor Cousin LD

Getting down to business: Don’t Bet Against Many Goods, Trimmings for Sale, Instincts, Brawling Over Brands, Because I’m The Best (Part 1 and Part 2), Released From Captivity, Pearl Paint

One Response to Poor Cousin LD

  1. Leslie Gold says:

    Your cousin must have been incredibly humiliated by his parents in order to have to want to inflict that upon others.

    We learn from our caretakers, and it’s truly a shame what we humans think we need to do to feel a little bit of self empowerment (even if it’s false power, its a much used and natural defense). It’s child abuse passed from one generation to another.

    Let’s do our best to be self aware, open our hearts, and end these inherited patterns.

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