The other day I posted a link to a teen suicide prevention fundraiser being run by my daughter. Last year one of her friends was bullied to the point that the girl eventually committed suicide. My daughter being the wonderful human being as she is, decided to raise money to donate to the Hampton Roads suicide prevention task force. Her stated goal in her fundraiser message was to help other families and friends avoid going through the hurt that herself and her friend’s family were dealing with. You can donate here http://www.gofundme.com/mnwirs.
As I have stated on numerous occasions I am a defense contractor. Many of my friends are defense contractors. Many of my friends are degreed professionals. In short, both myself and the majority of the people I have close contact with make a hell of a lot of money.
I have friends riding around in fancy, expensive cars, people posting about their vacations, their wine tours, the concerts they go to, the dinners at expensive restaurants. To be clear, I do all these things as well. But, here’s the difference. When my daughter posted a fundraiser to try to help save the lives of high school kids. I found a few dollars in my bloated budget to donate.
Amongst the other people who have donated thus far is an unemployed young man in Scotland, and a schoolteacher in Costa Rica. Neither of these people is wealthy. In fact, you could say both of these people are poor. If you compare their household income to mine.
I spent some time this morning looking through my Facebook friends list. I spent a moment or two looking at each picture, reading each name, and considering to myself whether that person was actually a friend of mine or not. I have to say in the vast majority of cases, the answer is no.
It’s not simply about who’s willing to donate a couple of dollars to help prevent teen suicide, though I can’t think of some better cause to which to donate. It’s just about the quality of people who I have in my life.
Yesterday, I had a guy leave the gaming guild because he refused to use the push to talk feature on team speak. In other words, the relationships that he has formed here with myself and others, are less important to him than the effort it takes to raise one finger and press a button in order to speak. We established push to talk as our standard because it prevents background noise from bleeding over into other people’s headsets. It’s a courtesy. But that’s not even the point. The point is that as far as this guy was concerned our “friendship” only extended so far as it required any effort whatsoever on his part. Past that, we had no friendship.
I am beginning to understand that while I consider myself a good judge of character, the evidence would seem to demonstrate otherwise. I am unsure how to use this information. It would appear I only have two choices. I can continue to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and continue to get burned a high percentage of the time while still finding the occasional good person here and there. Or, I can just stop trusting anyone. I can just assume that everyone is an ass hole, no one is worth knowing, and conduct my life accordingly.
I cannot escape the fact that this would be a much more lonely existence. But, I also cannot escape the notion that it would be a much more peaceful existence. I am so tired of being let down by people who cannot live up to what I consider the most basic of human standards. Loyalty, honor, integrity. Say what you mean, do what you say. Be somebody, and be somebody worth knowing.
I can count on one hand the number of people who fit this criteria. Just like I can count on one hand the people who thought teen suicide prevention was worth a couple dollars.
Which means I have a whole lot of extraneous and unnecessary people in my life. It seems like it may be time to do something about that.