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The Feldman Confession

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As a society and as people altogether, some if not most of us aspire to be one thing away from being good-for-nothing, a "waste-of-space", so to speak, a "Klumnik," as it is said in my native tongue.

We strive to be productive not only to contribute to society, and not only to afford our living expenses, but also to make a name for ourselves; to look in the mirror and say, "Here is someone who has done something in their lives, and has not lived it thus far with much waste, that was not a parasite of society and/or family". As to whether this aspiration is genuinely individual or a product of socialization, that is something else.

And there is a certain character from an Israeli comedy show, named after his own director, Ron Feldman, who has the courage -- or the unawareness -- to admit that he's a "klumnik". He lives his life from day to day, between job to job, not knowing for sure what purpose he wants to have in his small life, and spends most of his days either being on errands or wasting his life away through life's small pleasures -- being with his friends, trying to find true love, and being "high" through smoking.

Whenever someone asks him what he's doing in life, he'll bluntly say "nothing", not really aware of the fact that he is in his 30s with no higher education, no career, no family, and no kids. The people around him either see him as weird or even reject him for their company. They have already done what is expected of them: achieve success in any way that is acceptable and/or impressive.

Ron is a very honest character, even though he is not aggressive or anything. He rarely had breakdowns, and regardless of the things he tried to do, some people took advantage of him, seeing him as an inferior being, either seriously or for the show's comedy. The show, after three seasons, stays where it started. At point "A", the point of being "good-for-nothing". He did not find true love. He did not find a steady career, and it is unknown if Ron (the character, of course) will find any of these.

In one of the more philosophical kinds of episodes, Ron finds an apartment where someone used to live and died. In Judaism, we have something called "The Seventh", It's a period of 7 days where the deceased's family mourns over the death of their beloved. The door of the house remains open to guests and anyone who wants to comfort the grieving relatives. It is used to assist the family and close friends in dealing with death in a caring way. It is also a way to honor the person who has died.

The thing about that episode's beginning, is that the deceased was a "clone" of Ron himself. He was also called Ron Feldman and was also a "Klumnik". His life was insignificant, he watched TV all day and was busy smoking, which is basically who the original Feldman was. In a typical plot, that deceased man could serve as an inspiration for the protagonist to change his ways, and work harder towards success. However, that arc didn't even begin, as it changed nothing.

In Seinfeld, the characters have their own ways of achieving success. Jerry is a known comedian, George has his own small successes, Eileen is an attractive woman, and Kremer is an eccentric entrepreneur. However, what "Ron" succeeds in illustrating, in contrast to "Seinfeld", is true nothingness.

There is no hero who is entitled to something, there is no grand ambition in hand. There are no villains to defeat, and there are no antagonistic forces to oppose. It carries itself throughout Ron's life apathetically, while being aware of how insignificant Ron is, including one of his brothers, who is just as "klumnik" as him. A physically-unfit sibling who lives with his parents and watches TV all day.

To admit that you are an "empty" person in front of others, a person with no impressive achievements whatsoever, while being in your 30s without a clear plan in mind... It's something that requires either a lot of courage, or a lot of stupidity. Why stupidity? Because hiding the fact that you are not an "empty" person, both professionally and educationally, is not something that a wiser person will just say to people without any filtering. Hence, I'd like to coin the term, The Feldman Confession.

Don't take me wrong. The protagonist did things in the show, but they either failed or remained for the short term. With one woman, she refused to be his girlfriend because he wasn't tall enough. In another episode, he searched for a woman he knew and had met before, only to find out she was a lesbian. And all the few jobs he had, were all temporary. Jobs that you might find a person far younger than him doing, such as pizza delivery and so on.

As the show came to an end, Ron adopted a certain ability -- the ability to lie. In the few times he lied about himself to people, these were the only times he was viewed with an actual impression and above-average respect. As far as I remember, there were only two times he did so, and they were all in the final season. In the first one, he told someone he was an actor, even though he had yet to actually appear anywhere, and in the show's finale, he told a few women he was a TV director (which is true in real life, but not in the show). Beyond the ability to lie, Ron has developed no abilities and did not learn anything during his "journey".

Theoretically, no one likes to be seen as tiny in social, family, or romantic relationships. By "tiny," I mean insignificant. It's something that makes people wonder, "Why is he or she still stuck there" and "Perhaps I should keep him or her away from my life". Not only does it make it harder to relate to the person, but it also leaves a bad impression on the guy, especially if it's on a date or in an interview.

And the thing is, there are people like that. Products of either a set of circumstances or of themselves. This is why you need to know yourself better if you wish to become something in life. I'm not talking necessarily about being a "big shot", or an influencer of the highest order, but being something people will remember you fondly for being. It is important as long as you wish to be worthy in the eyes of either yourself, others, or both. For those who are familiar with me, it's the thing that drove me to write books and publish a site in my own image.

Finally, within these "empty" people (for lack of a better term), there are those who have the "privilege" of not caring at all about their lives in terms of importance and success. They don't care what people will think of them or if they will leave an impact on the world, of whatever kind.

Ron is the type of klumnik who is honest about his lack of importance. However, he nonetheless tries to do things, even without getting any permanent success. That's the most inspiring thing we could salvage from this character -- the fact that he is open minded enough to try things. And not remain a good-for-nothing.

It is therefore possible to admit your lack of achievements without just staying in that state. Those who may think you are, succumb to their own confirmation bias.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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