[Warning: contains explicit language]
Episode #1 of The Rogue Dialogues: Inner Healing for Leadership
Two combatants enter the room.
One, a hairy giant of a man in classic bronze armor.
The other, an androgynous youth clad in black leather.
Rogue: What the f*ck do you want?
Ares: Funny, I was going to ask you the same question.
R. Well, f*ck off old man. We don’t need your kind of sh*t around here anymore.
A. Really? Then what kind of sh*t do you need?
R. The kind that gets sh*t done, ares-hole! You ancients, all parading around with your fancy speeches and elaborate maneuvers. Well f*ck all of you. We rogues are the only ones who can get anything done anymore.
A. Very well. I agree.
A. I have decided you are right. As a soldier, I know all too well how generals always end up fighting the last war. It is insanity to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. If nothing else, you seem very likely to make novel mistakes. Sign me up!
R. But… you don’t even know what you’re signing up for!
A. Does any soldier, really?
R. Well… sure. But don’t you at least want to know whom we are fighting?
A. Excellent. That would be a great place to start the briefing.
R. Ah. Right. Okay. So, the problem is The Man. He is well-intentioned, but every last f*cking one of them has made a Deal with the Devil. They start out acting all nice and rational. But the moment you even dare to question something that touches on the Deal, all hell breaks loose.
A. Got it. The flawed tyrant.
R. Ah, I’d prefer the term hypocritical authority figure.
A. Oh yes, that is much better. Please continue.
R. Continue with?
A. The briefing. You have chosen a fine adversary worthy of our enmity. What is your strategy for defeating him?
R. Ah… that. Well, that is still very much in flux. There are a lot of, whaddya call them, “unknown unknowns.” Maybe… maybe we could take a break, and come back in a week or two?
R. Did you hear me?
A. Me? Oh, yes. I just didn’t know if you were talking to yourself, or expecting a response.
R. Ah. Yeah, sorry about that. Yes, it was a question.
A. So, are you asking my opinion on whether we should adjourn for a week or two while you work on your strategy?
R. Yes. Yes, I am.
A. I don’t have one.
R. What? But aren’t you like the ultimate f*cking general? Surely you have some grand plan for how you would win this war.
A. But this isn’t my war. It’s yours. I don’t know your capabilities, desires, fears. The tradeoffs you’re willing to make. The principles you would rather die than abandon. That’s all locked up in here.
Ares rises, and taps Rogue on the heart. Then stands and looks them in the eye.
A. I may be vicious and cruel, but I am not a savage. I know my place. I don’t expect gratitude, or even success. All I ask is the chance to expend my energy against an enemy that will push me to my utmost limits. Whether I live or die is beside the point.
R. That’s insane! Why would you follow incompetent commanders into certain doom?
A. What is the alternative?
R. Well… take charge yourself.
A. But did you not just tell me that I am part of the very problem you are trying to solve?
A. It is true that my expertise is vast. But by the same token it is old, and much of it may very well be obsolete. All of life is a risk. You and you alone can decide which risks you want to bear.
R. But… but that means you also have to bear that risk.
A. Eh, yes and no. True, I will bear the consequences of your decisions, for both good and ill. But that is what it means to be a follower, rather than a rival. The risk of making a decision is yours, and yours alone. And for that, I honor you.
R. I… I am very confused.
A. Excellent! Confusion is the first stage in assimilating new information. Take your time.
R. Uh, thanks.
Continued in Diarogue 2/7: Rogue, Wisdom
I have recently been confronting (with help from friends and family) a set of behaviors I initially called The Rebel, but now call “Rogue.” By naming and distancing myself from that persona, I hope to understand where that emotional energy is coming from and redirect it to more constructive ends.
I usually do this via a dialogue, but that requires an second persona who can connect to Rogue. And the whole reason Rogue is an Orphan is that he (she?) has been shunned by my dominant personality.
Then it occurred me I have an entire literary universe of prior characters I can draw upon. Ares seems the obvious choice, as he is (hopefully) a more mature version of a related impulse.
To be sure, it could be a horrible mistake to put those two in the same room! On the other hand, I just spent ten episodes confronting the need to redeem Ares. Maybe this is the perfect time to cash in that investment…