“Men at some time are masters of their fates,” says Cassius.
“The fault, dear Brutus,” Cassius continues, “is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
Oz was out to dinner with two retail store owners.
A young African-American approaches, introduces himself as our waiter and says his name is Cassius. Only Oz finds this name unusual. The waiter politely takes our drink orders and leaves us to mend for ourselves.
The drinks come, a vodka tonic, a scotch, and beer for Oz. A couple of swallows later the two retail owners commence bemoaning the economy. It is a fact, they say, that recently many more retail stores had opened. This, they said, cut their “piece of the pie” down to nothing.
Oz tried to explain that it is not about the competition, it is about oneself.
Hardly hearing Oz at all, they continued, “Times are tough,” they continued. “How do we compete against so many when we are one?”
Oz wanted to throw a little Nietzsche into the conversation, i.e. competition makes you stronger, that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, etc…, but by this point the two were wringing their hands and casting their eyes to the sky in divine supplication.
Oz wanted to explain that the internet was a new tool that gave everyone the opportunity to reach new markets, to expand and grow, but his audience was commiserating in abject sorrow.
“Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” Oz muttered to himself.