Kindness

Created on 21/7/2008

I believe there is a saying that no kindness goes unpunished, and to some extent I believe that to be the case. Does this mean we should stop being kind, or trying to be kind? I don’t think so and I hope not.

Years ago a young man, who shall be nameless, asked me for a big favor. Could I help him realize a dream? It was a major undertaking, one that I was not sure I had the time for, although my inclination, for reasons best left unspoken, was to help. I did, I tried my best. We completed the project, which I paid for and did a number of years work on. The young man failed to live up to his word and, on many occasions has not, in my opinion, told the truth, and accused others of this, and others, of his own faults.

I am not trying to suggest I am this sweet and vulnerable to everyone, but when people get close to you, you do become progressively more open and easy to wound. I wish it were not so, and I envy those who can be tougher and more circumspect, but we are what we are. I prefer to be soft and loving, and live with the consequences, than hard and ungenerous. Who wants to be the richest man in the graveyard?

Another example I fairly recently experienced was in regards to an exceptionally good student at one of the higher education establishments at which I lectured. I helped to train and educate this young man, although, like the other chap I’ve mentioned, he does possess a great deal of ability without any help from me. I nurtured this young man, gave him some of his first jobs for about a decade. I granted him shares in quite a valuable company, and then, one day, years later, and out of the blue, he became a Judas, and for the sake of a little money to give him imagined security, turned against me. Because I trusted the man, who I had considered an additional son, I was especially hurt.

A very good friend, or so I thought, turned out to have assumed my identity, especially in the USA, where people were led to believe that everything I had done in my career, had, in fact, been done by him. According to this craziness I had somehow arranged for all of his credits to be attributed to me over a period of many years. Some people actually believed this nonsense, and I had to prove the truth. Such examples might sound far-fetched and I seriously wonder whether I do anything to create such situations. Maybe they exist because my openness and the creative industries I inhabit encourages these kinds of patterns from some very insecure people. I don’t feel it excuses a person, but I would like to understand them better.

Then there’s the guy who sells the Big Issue outside the local Co-op supermarket. He smiles at me automatically every time I go near because I am clearly a regular, I almost always buy a copy, to help him on his way. His need is greater than mine.

I have tried my best to help these people and the hundreds of students and new kids in the industry who have sought my help, and got it when I could assist.

Was I wrong, as some of these awful results would seem to indicate?

I don’t think so, and I will continue to try to help wherever and whenever I can, because in the final analysis by trying to help them I am making myself a bit better. By trying to nurture others I am growing my own heart. What they do with my help is their business, and to the lying and cheating amongst them, and you know who you are, when you look in a mirror, it doesn’t make me stupid to try and be a good guy, your terrible behavior diminishes you in your heart, where it really counts, even if your wallet may be fuller. Your curse may be to be the richest person in the graveyard one day, but you will always be alone in your hearts. My revenge will be to live a good life and sleep well every night.