'this is the world'

“Maybe you think I’m crazy,” he said, and screwed up his face into a canny smile. 
I tried to protest, but he wouldn’t have it. “Listen, don’t worry, McCabe. I’m called crazy a lotta times already. It don’t bother me. My wife says, ‘Leon, you gotta expect it.’ She says, ‘People never understand a man who wants something more outa life than just money.’ And she’s right! She’s right!” 
“No,” I said. “Wait a second, I—” 
“People think you gotta be one of two things: either you’re a shark, or you gotta lay back and let the sharks eatcha alive—this is the world. Me, I’m the kinda guy’s gotta go out and wrestle with the sharks. Why? I dunno why. This is crazy? Okay.”
Richard Yates, "A Wrestler With Sharks." The Paris Review No. 13, Summer 1956.