While men of all stripes engage in self destructive behavior a Gamma practices a consistent and weird dishonesty about himself which hampers every aspect of his life. Why lie about yourself when there’s no benefit and it is unneeded? Discerning the origin and purpose of this self-deception has perplexed me for some time but I think that I now found the answer.
Imagine walking through a museum and looking at all of the old photographs of the men. In the past there were men of all ranks like today but specifically think of the common man, the Delta. In those old black and white photos from a hundred or more years ago you might wonder, who are these guys? What did they do? They aren’t famous, and even finding out the names of many of them might be difficult or impossible. If you have access to old photo albums from your family you’ll likely see some male relatives you’ve never seen or thought much about, but they lived, many raised families, and all had one thing in common. They died.
Everyone reading this blog today and of course the author himself is destined to die. Being able to deal with the impending death of oneself is part of the maturity of manhood. Every rank besides Gammas generally comes to grips with this, even Omegas. Once again Band of Brothers is a perfect example of the Deltas dealing with death, the fear of death, but doing what they need to do. In the episode “Carentan” Private Albert Blithe is shown overcoming his very real fear and getting out of a foxhole, fighting, and killing. Joining the military and facing death head on is one of the chief ways men have proven their courage throughout history.
Gammas don’t get out of that foxhole unless they graduate into Deltas in the moment. In fact Gammas generally position themselves in the military far behind enemy lines if they can manage it. They are natural cowards despite their blustery talk which is why they immediately back down when threatened with any real physical violence. Deltas aren’t naturally brave, but can be when called upon each according to his ability. That’s why a Delta will get punched by an Alpha, but the Gamma rarely even takes a punch as they flee or appeal to authority at first opportunity.
When a Gamma is sick with a mild cough they will let everyone know about it and make a big show of it. If a Gamma contracts a serious illness there’s certainly no stoicism involved, but you will notice they act like they are the first person in history with the illness and want to talk to everyone about. They will try to include everyone around them into their illness to ramp up the magnitude of it, like it’s a near national emergency that some random guy is sick. A Gamma can’t be just an ordinary guy with an illness, but rather a special guy who requires more attention, care, and involvement from those around him.
If someone else is sick, particularly if it is serious, they might obsess over the illness as they subconsciously imagine themselves being in that same state. You’ll also see that all illness discussions focus around death and generally lead to death. For example if you come in with a bad cough the Gamma doesn’t offer words of encouragement, but rather will either relate a story about them coughing, or tell of someone they vaguely knew who thought they had a cough but found out it was a fatal condition, dying just weeks or months later. This is one of the most annoying traits of the Gamma, in which if you mention an illness they don’t listen at all, but immediately give you an information dump on the illness in which the result is inevitably fatal.
If a Gammas has psychological problems like depression or Imposter Syndrome they will try to involve as many people into it as possible. It becomes their “thing” in which they use to be special and demand those around them treat them in special ways, or become special because of it. I’ve been around real mental illness with a family member and normal people want to try to get cured even if the desire is imperfect, not turn it into a group discussion or use it to be special.
If someone they know dies young, particularly of an illness they might obsess about it, or show nonchalant disregard about it because of their inability to deal with it at all. If a Gamma loses a parent when he’s an adult he acts like he’s the first adult child to ever lose a parent. Many men have lost loved ones and written about their experiences, but the Gamma doesn’t do it to honor those who have died, express grief, or even write to others with words of encouragement, but is narcissistic and turns the death of another into something special about the Gamma.