Lately, I have been trying to be a more understanding and compassionate person. I care about my fellow human beings and know that we all need to at least occasionally encounter others that will take the time to listen to us - and maybe even offer some unbiased advice to help us clear our heads and focus our thoughts. So, concentrating on the words of the world's maters of wisdom like the Buddha and Christ, I endeavor each day to spread the truth as I know it, give to those in need and perform as a proactive force for positive change and sustainability.
It's not working for me very well at all.
For instance, for the past 4 and a half months, I opened the doors of my humble home up to a man whom I thought simply needed some assistance through a troublesome period. At first, he assured me that he only needed a few weeks to get himself together and save a little to rent his own place. He had just been separated from his wife of 22 years, his son twisted and fractured his hand as they were bickering, his other son refused to speak with him, he had just lost his job and he was literally falling apart at the seams. What was I, as a man who is trying to embrace compassion, do?
He called me from the hospital one day to tell me about his fractured hand and I told him to get his behind on over here and stay in the country for a while. I cleared out my Pitt-Lab's room for his stay. (Yes, my dog, Buckethead, has his own room.) I shined the room up and moved my couch into it for him. I did my best to make him as comfortable as I could. He had privacy, no bills, food prepared daily for free, his own entrance and key, no responsibilities and total country isolation. It's what I had to offer and so I did. That made me feel good - for a while.
Over the following weeks, my friend proceeded to get more and more lethargic about everything. He started out motivated and wanting to take advantage of this time to reinvent himself and I offered him no rush. I desired for him to manifest a good degree of positivity in his life, rise up on his own, be strong and then go forth and prosper.
Instead, he lingered in my domain - like a painful boil on my skin.
About two months into this wartly visitation, I began to hint that maybe he needed to become more active in his own life - maybe he needed to start challenging himself to advance. In words, he agreed with me, but in deeds, he festered in inactivity. His mind grew weaker instead of stronger. He made no money and so offered me none. When he would make a dollar somehow, he bought booze with it and got as drunk as 4 strippers.
My compassion was being challenged, but still I forged onward - guided by the wisdom of the masters.
Three months in and he was starting to stink to me like dead crabs. I urged him to better himself and make his presence on this planet as a valid man known. He agreed with me wholeheartedly and assured me that he was "fixin' to".
At the beginning of the fourth month of this now-hellish intrusion, I was fixin' to kill him. I had had enough and I told him that he was no longer a pleasure to try to help. I told him what the masters said. I told him that all people must love and help themselves first or else nobody else possibly could. The masters of wisdom also say not to associate with a fool - and I felt very foolish at this point for having done so.
I told him that it was time to move on. I explained that I no longer felt that I was helping him to advance. Instead, I said, that I was now simply enabling him to stagnate and fail. I "suggested" that he call his brother and ask him for help because I was emotionally and financially becoming exhausted from "helping" him.
He looked at me as if I had wronged him. He seemed to think that, after 4 plus months of living in my home for free and eating the delicious foods that I prepared for him nightly, that he was yet entitled to more. He attempted to place guilt on me for going as far as I could to assist him.
I do not like guilt.
Three blissful days ago, the raw, swollen flesh boil was removed from my life. His brother showed up to gather him and his meager belongings. I am reflecting about the entire situation - trying to discern what lessons I have gleaned from it. I think that I have figured it out:
You have to respect yourself first. Even in the worst of times, you have to force positivity and motivation into your life. Every day is one less that you have to develop and advance. It is wrong to need from others when you are capable of giving to yourself.
I believe that my friend would have stayed here forever milking me unless I forced the issue of leaving. It made me feel badly to do so, but now I see that there was no other choice. We all have difficult times to face and overcome and we all must develop and utilize our strengths to the maximum of our abilities. I wish my friend much prosperity and fortune in the remainder of his life - as long as he isn't here.
M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.
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