24 February 2011
Post 334: Wizard's First Rule
Richard Cypher is kind of annoying because he's just so darned good at being good. There's also this weird disconnect between how devoted he is to the truth and the amount of deception he uses to achieve his ends, especially as the book comes to a close. There is something that doesn't sit well with me about someone who is supposed to be trustworthy deceiving anyone, and he does this throughout the story. On the other hand, it's sort of appealing in a Trickster/Brer Rabbit sort of way. We kind of like the guys who purposely break the rules for their own benefit as long as it doesn't actually hurt anyone else.
Seriously, you know you love it when someone files a fraudulent claim that the insurance company actually pays out.
Anyway, Richard kind of throws out a bastardly line to Darken Rahl at Rahl's defeat. I think it says a lot, not only about Richard's personality, but about anyone who is in the least bit sneaky, gossipy, or ambitious enough to step on your head for personal gain. Here's the line:
"Once you teach me something, it's mine to use." Page 563.
This is Richard telling Rahl that he's the one who taught him how to defeat him. Rubbing-one's-face-in-it is so attractive in a hero. But this is actually really excellent cautionary advice as well as an empowering motto. Once you have any kind of information or skill you can use it any way you choose to and no one but you can stop you from doing it. However, that goes for everyone else too, so maybe you should be a little extra careful about who you tell whatever secrets to.
I think we all learn this lesson the hard way. We have that one friend, or friendly person, we think we can talk about a mutual friend with and then we find out said person has blabbed everything you said to the very person you didn't want to know. It's not necessarily that you had any malicious intents or feelings towards that person, but you're not going to have warm happy feelings about everyone all the time and it is normal to want to vent. You can be as upset about this as you want, but ultimately, you were the person who gave that information out.
This is becoming more and more of a problem as information becomes more and more global and easier to access. It's harder to recover from making those mistakes because now all of your friends know what you said about Cindy getting pregnant or that Josh has an STD. You might lose a whole circle of friends rather than just the one you offended before you even have the chance to explain yourself.
In some ways I really don't envy kids growing up today with access to Twitter and Facebook. They have the opportunity to royally screw up their social and professional lives before they've even really learned what they've done. Maybe this will lead to everyone growing much thicker skins and better communication skills in the long run... but from what I remember of teenager relationships, the first instinct is to immediately take offense, consequences be damned.
My review can be found at Goodreads.
LibsNote: Copy checked out from my local library.