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View Diary: * New Day * — Who was your first friend? (178 comments)

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  •  Thanks Darryl House (7+ / 0-)

    I think it speaks perhaps a bit to our isolation that money, career and status have become such overwhelming measurements of success. It has always puzzled me why people are so obsessed with things that don't mean much in the grander scheme, but perhaps it's that feeling of loneliness that often comes with living in a hyper-charged materialistic western society. Germany is not exempt from that, but the values of friendship and community are still a bit more enshrined than in the U.S. Given the choice between working overtime and making a few more bucks or going home and playing cards with your friends, my feeling is that a large majority of Germans would pick the latter, including myself. It seems so obvious that money can't buy you love, and yet so many of us still don't see that when we're knocking on heaven's door the only thing that'll matter is how well we've loved. At least that's my theology.

    You and your spouse sound like happy people, because of the values you have and the lives you live accordingly. Happy 60th to her!

    Ecology is the new Economy

    by citisven on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:11:57 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  ...I concur Sven... (7+ / 0-)

      ...too many people think that whatever they are doing in their lives now is the most important thing...including the other people that are currently doing the same thing.

      Then things change. What they are doing changes and they just let people go.

      I've learned that most people view others as "objects" or "tools." And they have as much connection to "people" as they would a character in a book or a character in a computer game. In other words, no real emotional connection...just a mental connection.

      And once the usefulness of those "tools" is over...those relationships are over too.

      This whole predominant way of western people in western cultures causes a lot of loneliness and narcissism IMO.

      But it also is a great way to find out who is real and who is merely making a persona to sell the world.

      I had a friend once whom I truly thought was my friend. As the years went by, it became increasingly obvious he was not trustworthy and didn't have any ethics. One day he confronted me about something:

      I'd always told him I don't manipulate people and I don't deceive people. It that ever happens it is NOT on purpose.  He flatly told me, "the most important thing to me is how I appear to be. The most important thing to me is how I get people to think about me."

      I told him, "I'm WYSIWYG. I'm just genuine...nothing fake here."

      He got really mad at that (?). He then stood up and shouted at me that, "My thoughts are superior to your thoughts. My opinions are superior to your opinions. My personality is superior to your personality."

      WOW!

      As the next year unfolded, it was apparent our "friendship" never recovered from that day. And he made more and more bad choices until the life he'd created for he and his family here in Paradise just unraveled.

      Of course it did...he was all about "selling a false persona" and he exaggerated hugely about his past. He didn't take his job seriously, he did coke behind his wife's back...he got involved with a women outside of his marriage (all these things he'd done repeatedly before in his past).

      So it all blew up. He made me the scapegoat for his own personal failures (THAT is another story!)...then he just packed up and moved away...something he'd also done repeatedly.

      WELL, it was nothing to him. He just moved far enough away where no one knew what he'd done...he started from square one...AGAIN...all new "friends" to be a bullshit artist with...AGAIN.

      And that really got me to realize once and for all the problem with the whole American ideal. It really doesn't matter what you do and how you use and treat people...just blow it up if it goes bad and start over.

      People don't matter. People are just "useful tools" at best. Stuff and money is what matters.

      This is so UNTRUE, but it is what counts for so so many...

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

      by paradise50 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:35:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow, p, what a story (5+ / 0-)

        when you wrote American ideal, I first read it as American idol, which I guess in a way is the gist of it.

        I think you hit the nail on the head regarding "social networking," that too much emphasis is on gaining an advantage for yourself by using others as marketing props. I guess that's okay to some extent if you recognize it for what it is (a mutually beneficial business agreement?) as long as you don't conflate it with the more selfless nature of friendship. I guess ultimately the medium doesn't really matter, and often facebook serves to reinforce already existing friendships. It's more like a spiritual practice, once you've awakened to the sacred pillars of friendship, it doesn't really matter where and how it manifests. I have friends who I have known and grown with my entire lifetime, but I also have friends like you who I have only met very recently but feel deeply connected to. I think it's about generosity of spirit — when two or more generous souls meet it doesn't matter how much time you've shared in the flesh.

        Ecology is the new Economy

        by citisven on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:09:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...nothing is more true than what you wrote... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kimoconnor, Darryl House, navajo, citisven
          I think it's about generosity of spirit — when two or more generous souls meet it doesn't matter how much time you've shared in the flesh.
          The thing that is interesting is how folks struggle with what I guess can only be described as their "shadow self."

          The guy I was talking about above was the last "best friend" I made who I spent a lot of time with. Smileycreek became "best friends" with his wife. We were both as generous, kind and caring as anyone could be.

          These folks were wanting to be real friends in the beginning, but the guy's "shadow self" gained control of him just as it had a least two times before.

          He was able to keep all of this from his wife, yet let smileycreek and me know all about it. He was a manipulator and bullshit artist. The person he deceived the most was his own wife. He lived an entire life outside of his marriage that he kept from her.

          A lot of why he did what he did was to make the ending of our 4-way friendship so hideous and horrendous that he could be absolutely certain his wife would NEVER have contact with smileycreek again. He was making sure his dirty secrets that he kept from his wife would always remain secret from her.

          So, I've pretty much come to the conclusion I won't be entering such a tight friendship again. It's just too dangerous. MOST people put their own selfishness ahead of anything.

          In the end I became simply a "tool" he used to succeed in doing what is the most important thing to him by his own admission = how he appears to be vs. being real and genuine.

          Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

          by paradise50 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:26:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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