To each his own

Was going through a pile of promotional emails (thanks, Gmail! I still read most of these emails, particularly the ones sent by individuals!) and stumbled onto a piece of text that got me thinking.

I read a story about Dave Mustaine. He got kicked out of a band and dedicated his life to making his former band mates jealous of his success. He formed a band called Megadeth, which has sold over 38 million records. Success? No. He was kicked out of Metallica (125 million records sold). So, be careful with what you compare yourself to and how you measure success.

I disagree with the statement for it disregards the work that Dave Mustaine has put in over the years. Sure, his intention at the beginning could’ve been to make his former bandmates jealous but who wouldn’t have done that? Given the circumstances, I believe it was normal of him to react that way.

And guess what? Dave did succeed. His band, Megadeth, is still going strong (just like Metallica) after 33 years! And that’s some commitment, to say the least. Do they outsell stadiums like Metallica? Sure they do! Do they outsell record labels like Metallica? No. They don’t. But the numbers don’t really matter.

The two bands are often touted to be among the Big 4 of Thrash Metal. Some even compare the two bands to find out which one is more superior or better.

Irrespective of what the answers might be, success is purely subjective in this context. Data is helpful but wouldn’t make any sense to someone who’s a die-hard Megadeth fan. And to the band, that’s all that matters. Not your opinion. Not mine. Not the numbers. Their fans. And that’s all the reason why they make music. Irrespective of who they began it all.

Sure, things weren’t/aren’t perfect with Dave still. But whose life is perfect anyway? We’ve got our issues, he’s got his own. At least he was bold enough to publish them and tell the world about it. What about us? It’s so darn easy to be a cynic. We need to outgrow our own thinking.

You and I may have many things in common. Yet, we’ll have a dozen aspects that are no match, heck, the complete opposite of our preferences/values/beliefs/ethics. But that’s just part of our lives. That’s who we are. At the end of the day, I’d say “to each, his own.”