Imagine the horror of being Hamilton Burger.
(for those of you too young to know, he was the fictional district attorney who was bested each week by Perry Mason)
Just think for a moment what it must have been like for him. It's not bad enough that you lose every week. Every case. You're the Washington Generals of the legal profession. And every time you step into a courtroom to try a case you hear, "Perry Mason for the defense, your honor" and you think Jesus Christ, again? I mean what are the fucking odds? Is he stalking me? Does he somehow find out what cases I'm prosecuting and then contact that defendant and ask to represent him just to fuck with me? How can it possibly be him every god damned time? It's statistically impossible, but yet, there he is again! Does God hate me? I mean, it's got to be a nightmare going down to defeat week after week after week. . .
But that's nothing compared to the real weight you carry. After every one of those defeats, you have to be thinking "my God, I nearly sent an innocent man to the chair!" I have this enormous responsibility to ensure that the guilty are punished and the innocent are not and I came this close to costing an innocent man his life!
And the only reason that I don't have this innocent man's blood on my hands is that Perry Mason is so much better at lawyering than I am. My inability to secure a conviction is the only thing that keeps me from destroying the lives of innocent people. And next week I'm going to try another case and I have absolutely no reason to think that the defendant will not once again be an innocent man wrongly accused. I'm a monster. And my only saving grace is that I'm an incompetent monster.
I owe such an enormous debt of gratitude to the man that kicks my ass over and over again each week, he's the only thing preventing me from being a mass murderer.
How did he live with that? How does he go through life with that weighing on his conscience? It's unimaginable.
So next time you're having a rough day, next time you're feeling like you're not doing all the good you should be doing in the world, just think about poor Hamilton Burger. And thank your god that you aren't him.