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On Mentorship - Obi-Wan, Prodigies, & Envy
"I want to you to do better.....but no better than me."
Law 1: Never outshine the master.
As much hate as the book may receive from mainstream academics and normies alike, the 48 Laws of Power is a modern masterpiece in philosophy, psychology, and history.
Like many classics, it is a bit difficult to categorize other than to call it a classic, which it is, and it is a work that will be read millennia from now.
The first law of the book is the most important, which is why it is listed first.
Never outshine the master.
It is something that the author of the book, Robert Greene, discusses in depth in another one of his books, Mastery, also a masterpiece IMO.
It is the fastest and best way to learn one’s craft: through the eyes of a master. It entails a level of emotional and intellectual engagement and investment that is impossible to accomplish alone. It can help save months or years of trial and error from a student’s learning curve.
"You have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of fiction’s greatest mentors.
“You have become greater than I could ever hope to be.”
What an amazing sentiment and thought to share with one’s apprentice. In a single sentence, Kenobi lets his apprentice know that he recognizes his power as exceeding his own. Although his apprentice may not have the same level of knowledge or discernment, his abilities speak for themselves.
This entails a level of not just wisdom but humility, and indeed, mastery, which to be quite frank, I am not sure I will ever encounter.
The pattern I have noticed is this: Mentor helps mentee. Mentee grows and evolves with rapid development. Both master and apprentice enjoy the growth. Then, mentee astounds with abilities, achieves something the mentor has never. Mentor becomes envious. The relationship deteriorates.
I will use anecdotes from my own life to attempt to elucidate this.
A great example is my trip to Brazil last year. If there is anything that I could point to in my journalism career as legendary, it is being on the receiving end of a recruitment attempt by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before they realized I was not about to join them and they, in turn, threatened my life.
Instead of propping up my achievements, one of my closest mentors in the field only seemed to be resentful of what I achieved.
Indeed, prior to that, even when I was covering the #GhislaineMaxwellTrial in New York City, according to this same mentor, the hush-hush trial of Jeffrey Epstein’s madam pimp, which the mainstream media (MSM) barely scraped, was “a distraction.”
The biggest trial of the century, which saw the power pillars of Western Civilization sweating bullets because they knew that we knew that they knew Jeff Epstein… was a distraction.
I visited another former mentor of mine at the Transcending the Israeli Lobby conference in Washington, D.C. with the woman I was dating at the time.
This man, who lives in Japan and is married to an Asian woman with kids, essentially made a fool out of himself; gawking at my girlfriend and becoming confused, asking her what she was doing there before he (drunk at the time) slowly realized that this model, and the woman I loved at the time, traveled there to support Addy Adds, and not him.
In response, he later weakly accused me of plagiarism after I made the connection between Louis Bloomfield, Jeffrey Epstein, and John F. Kennedy. (I would have mentioned that the portion of his documentary I saw was fantastic, but he requested to all not to speak about it.)
I gave it quite a bit of time and let it go, my time consumed with other things. Months later I noticed he was back on Twitter. I followed him, but he did not follow me back. It was then that I began to realize my intuition was correct.
He was seething with envy the entire time.
It is experiences like these that made me realize that in journalism, I was a Padawan no longer, and I did not need to find any new mentors. I had become skilled enough at my craft such that I could trust myself and my own abilities.
“The son is always better than the father.”
- A maxim from the Gurkhas of Nepal, who, in their commitment to the British Crown, seek to lift their loved ones from poverty. They are considered some of the most elite warriors in the world.
Humans are emotional and competitive creatures. We are always vying for a higher rung on the ladder, and this is hardwired into our bodies and brains at a primal level.
The higher on the social ladder, the more choices one has for mates (primary reason) and the better access one has to all other resources humans could need or want.
This is difficult to overcome, but our lower primal urges can be overcome. That is what differentiates humans from the rest of the creatures which walk, run, swim, or fly across this planet we live on.
At this point, my focus is to apprentice under masters in other fields in which I am exploring, careers that actually pay men for being good at their crafts.
Coincidentally, when I returned to the United States from the Brazil trip, a young man messaged me with a request that he be my apprentice, a message to which I have yet to respond.
It is my hope and goal that if and when I take on an apprentice, I aim to make them better than me, and that I am happy for him when he surpasses me.
However, I am not there yet.
I still have much to learn before I can call myself a master.
“Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." - Leonardo da Vinci
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Addy Adds is a 100% independent author, writer, investigative journalist, independent video producer, radio talk show host, and editor. His work has been stolen by hundreds and viewed/read by millions. Once called the “best young mind in political journalism,” with his work also described as “genius,” Addy Adds turned down an in-field recruitment from the CIA during his coverage of Brazil in 2022, the first known instance of such an event to be caught on video.