Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Back when I planned and wrote about why Elon Musk is loved so much, I said I’d write a piece about why some people hate him so much as well. I’m finally getting to that piece.
The thing is, everyone receives hate, and probably everyone is hated by someone or some people. Even the nicest, kindest, most helpful person on the planet probably has people who hate her or him. Unfortunately, I have personally been getting dished several helpings of hate from a surprising corner of the internet in recent months, making this all the more obvious to me. And perhaps it is what compelled me to write this article that has long been in my head about an opposite-of-uplifting topic.
It had me thinking today about how we all have personalities, and we all do things in our own personal way, and for some reason, that has the tendency to irritate some people and even trigger hate in them … or so it seems.
Naturally, since that is the case with humans across the board, that has to be at play with Elon to some extent. Many people love the Rolling Stones. Many people hate them. Many people love Obama (count me in). Many people hate him. Many people love the Pope. But many people hate him. The more famous you are, to some degree, the more hate you will receive.
But I think there’s a much bigger issue at play, an even simpler one, with Elon Musk and Tesla. One of the greatest thieves of human joy across the species is jealousy. It is very hard for many of us, and especially some of us, to not feel a bitter jealousy when our neighbors do well, or when our “competitors” do well.
I have experienced the unpleasant feeling of jealousy, and I imagine all of you have. When jealousy takes root, it can be very hard to tell the difference between rational thoughts and irrational ones. In my opinion, jealousy itself is irrational. Why should we feel hurt by anyone else doing well? Why should we be upset about other people achieving worthwhile goals?
But “irrational” and “uncommon” are certainly not the same thing. Jealousy, and irrationality on the whole, are very common.
As Mike Barnard just summarized, Elon Musk has been very successful at Tesla Motors so far. He has plenty of other success at previous ventures (founding PayPal, for example) and ongoing ventures as well (SpaceX and SolarCity, for example). He has achieved several things that many people deemed impossible. He has won more awards that I could probably find to put in a list here. He has been featured in films, TV shows, on a variety of high-profile magazines (like Vanity Fair), and, of course, across the webpages of many a media company. As fans are fond of pointing out, Roberty Downey Jr. even shadowed Elon Musk in preparation for his character as über successful billionaire and superhero Tony Stark/Iron Man.
All of this praise wears on a person who isn’t eager to see others succeed. Even more so if Elon’s personality is the type that just rubs this person the wrong way in the first place. “How can he be so successful?”
Elon’s confidence is not a crime, and I don’t take it as arrogance. As I wrote before, I think people misjudge Elon’s confidence as arrogance, and think that he is actually a relatively humble guy. But confidence is one of those things that can make some others feel self-conscious and inadequate (even while it has the opposite effect on other humans), and these feelings of self-consciousness and inadequacy are fuel for jealousy. We somehow think that someone else’s success is about us — and that is the depth of the problem.
Naturally, this is just my take. Many people may have their own. But after thinking much about this topic — before I wrote “Why Elon Musk Is Idolized So Much” and since — I honestly can’t find any reasons that seem to instigate the hate beyond the above topics/possibilities.
If you have more thoughts, naturally, I will read them with an open mind. In the meantime, I encourage everyone and anyone to try to transcend the self-induced and illogical problems we have with others. Is it worth your own peace and happiness?
*Oh yes, I was going to mention that I ran across the quote/image at the top and immediately thought of Elon. As most of us know by now, Elon isn’t new to the challenges of facing other people’s jealousy and hatred at all — not in the least. And maybe that’s partly why we all know him today. It may also be due in part to his natural intelligence and earliest successes.
**Are you Tesla obsessed? If so, feel free to join our “Tesla Obsessed” Facebook group! Not Tesla obsessed? I’m surprised you made it so far down this article!