Thoughts on the ‘Good Old Days’

Mar 1, 2000

In China, they used to force intellectuals to spend a year toiling in the rice paddies and doing the People’s Work. There is something to be said for that. Particularly if the People’s Work turns out to be surprisingly rich and fulfilling. I think that’s important… it seems to me that folks these days are more interested in the quick dollar and not too focused on what (in my mind, anyhow) should be more important. Quality of life and seeing new things in the world around you. I swear, these last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about things, and the reflections have been alternately horrible and wonderful. I’ve come to a realization that I have maybe one potential lifelong friend and even that one is iffy. My other pals will probably move on and fade out, as most people do these days. I partially blame the computer industry, breeding another race of nomads who think that staying at a company for more than 18 months is some form of stagnation. I don’t get the mindset at all. I tend to have jobs that last years on end, my longest being 6 years long. (hey I’m only 31… I’m not old enough to have been at the same gig for 25+ yet.) While I’m unsatisfied with my current occupation, I do feel that when I find the one I’m interested in, I’d like to have it locked in place fairly permenantly. I’m the same way about my friends. I feel a certain loss of connection, when I realize that 2 years from now, I might not even know where most of them will be living. I think “Why bother making any connection at all, if it’s just going to be severed once you make any progress?” Not only that, but there’s a shallowness to some of the friendships that hurts, too. When I’m a friend to someone, I’ll help them move a body. I suspect that some folks really can’t be bothered to be called on in a personal crisis… and to me, that’s what friends are. Someone that will be there for you and offer support, and you can do the same for them. Ah well, I take solace in the fact that I do have someone I can fall back on, and that I’m there for them too. It occurs to me that I don’t know where any of the living remainders of my graduating class are anymore, I just hear about it months to years later when they die, usually from accidents. Well, enough whining, on to the good stuff. I take great comfort in knowing that when it comes to relationships of a more intimate nature, I think I have it mostly worked out. I have someone who cares about me, and I care about in a more romantic way, but it’s not so close that we stifle each other, and not so distant that the caring is meaningless. A good mix, and not commonly come by. I think the trick is not to be too selfish, whether it’s the “What I want comes first” or the “Let me suck your emotions dry” sort of sidekick, of which I’ve seen way too much of in recent months. It infuriates me when I see someone I know can be civil act like a selfish jerk, at the expense of someone else’s well-being, and to someone who they claim to care about at that! I think it’s the throwaway, thoughtless stuff that gets folks into the most trouble. That to me is a sign that you really don’t love someone… I know that the person I’m with right now is caring, and thinks about what they say to express the right feelings to me, and I make a point of doing the same. Of course, breakdowns in communication can happen, but it can be kept at a minimum. Keeping lines of communication are very important, I’ve seen at least 2 marriages in recent years break up because they didn’t let their partners know what was bothering them until it was too late. Another good sign that the folks are lazy, or at least more prideful than in love is the lack of interest in seeking council of an unbiased third party. I don’t mean a friend of the couple, I mean someone trained to help both people get the best result of being together, or apart if that’s what’s best in the eyes of all involved. Hmm.. rambles. long story short. I’m lucky in love, but not in long term friendships. (outside of love, anyhow).

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