Noting that his conversations with his buddies tended to devolve into a great deal of laughing, joking around, and poking fun at their ridiculous lives, Ben Hayes of Brooklyn, New York, felt a personal responsibility to provide the component sorely lacking from their hang-time: gravitas.
“It’s not that we didn’t all used to have a great time just shooting the shit and laughing our asses off,” said Ben. “But something was missing - at first I just couldn’t pinpoint what. And then I realized, of course! It was gravitas.”
And for all of their good qualities, gravitas was a quality that none of his happy-go-lucky pals possessed, Ben realized. If gravitas was to be had, it was on him to bring it.
And bring it he did – in spades.
According to Ben, that initial gravitas injection caught his friends very much off guard.
"They were rolling on the floor, hysterical over this Joe Rogan podcast where he was stoned out of his mind, interviewing some right-wing conspiracy-theory guy about aliens from outer space, and recommending that people drink moose blood," said Ben, describing the pre-gravitas atmosphere in the room. "I let the smile drop from my face and allowed a moment of quiet to settle over us all. And then I simply noted, very matter-of-factly, that the victims of delusion are just that: victims. And the appropriate response is not ridicule, but compassion.”
He received some pushback at first. “My one buddy Ryan said something to the effect of ‘Yo, the dude used to be a stand-up comic! Everything’s funny to him.’”
Nevertheless, Ben didn’t allow his gravitas to lapse, even for an instant. He smiled thoughtfully, taking it all in, and said, “Is it really, though?”
In the face of Ben’s unwavering gravitas, Ryan could only reply, “Yeah. I get you.”
Ben doesn’t expect his gravitas to always be welcomed, at least in these early days. He believes, however, that, over time, his buddies will come to genuinely appreciate this grounding, reassuring quality of his.
“Not everyone’s got gravitas, and that's totally okay," said Ben. "But I've got it, and I've been told, if you've got it, flaunt it. And that's exactly what I intend to do."
His buddy Ryan, formerly a gravitas skeptic, wholeheartedly supports Ben in this endeavor.
"I didn't even know what gravitas was before," said Ryan. "But now that I do, I never want to live without it. And this guy's got it goin' on in a big way. Solid gold, as far as I'm concerned."