I was brought up knowing that if I did something wrong I would get a beating. I also knew that if I did things right I would make friends. The only difference is that when I did things right I expected an award, or some sort of reward. Making friends was okay but it couldn't be compared to punishment – I wanted more. It makes sense, if you think like a kid – do something bad, be punished. Do something good, be rewarded. The punishment should fit the crime – yes? So why didn't the reward fit the good deed? It doesn't make sense when you're an adult because you know better – you're jaded by life and experience. Everything is grey. You know that sometimes you can do something bad and be rewarded if you're not caught or you'll get off lightly, and all too often when you do something good it either blows up in your face, nobody cares or you're not rewarded at all. It all essentially becomes "grey".
I'll be honest, I've done a little bit of bad and never been caught. It was exciting at the time, but it left me – for a lack of better words – hollow. I've done a lot of good, I mean a LOT, but I don't feel good afterwards. I don't feel the same hollow I felt from my bad deeds, but if I had to put a simple word to doing good, I'd say the most fitting word is "lacking".
Often I think it's because I know if I give too much I'll destroy myself in the process (and what good am I to anyone if I'm broken – so I have to be selfish to a certain extent) but also because after many years of giving I've realised people are inheritantly selfish, and will take everything from you because they're always "wanting" – and they really don't care if you're broken, as long as you can keep giving. They'll pretend they care but at the core of them they really don't, and they will find someone else who will give them what they need, or want.
It's happened to me a few times, and often I've been heart broken, and I've let it get to me and I've allowed it to affect my life professionally and personally at times. I don't blame them for being selfish because I've been there myself. It's led me to drink on my own some nights where I've felt sorry for myself, at my own detriment mostly, but in some ways it's allowed me a little bit of introspection because I dug myself out of that depression knowing that I was being like the people who burned me when I tried to help them. There's no other word for it, except... "pathetic".
The only time I've managed to salvage what little is left of my sanity is when I've done good deeds anonymously. The best part about those deeds are that you can't expect a thank you because they don't know you did it, and you can't expect anything from your good deed because you're not involved with the person you helped. It's as clean as you can get – you've given selflessly and expected nothing, they don't know who you are and can't even thank you. Whatever they do with however you've helped them is up to them, and you'll never know if they abused it, or if they excelled from it.
I'll keep doing my charity work until 2014 when I turn 41, the only difference is that I will do the same work anonymously after 2014 when I'm out of the group of guys I'm with currently.
I've written some crazy stuff here, and tested the boundaries. It's in my nature to challenge people – I'm like that cartoon of a frog that's strangling a Pelican as it's swallowing the frog. Being that die-hard Bruce Willis frog has led me to being crass, crude, rude and I've gone out of my way to rile people up as much as I can. I've even tested News24 and it seems they don't care either, because they'll publish anything to get what they want, and I fed the beast, and I've learned – perhaps it's better not to rock the boat, perhaps it's better to be honest.
I'm an Atheist dating a Catholic woman, and yes we've argued about religion but I still love her as much as she loves me. I have friends from all over South Africa and abroad, of all creeds and all races, and they are all welcome in my home – I am a great host. I love my neighbours, both black and white, straight and gay.
Yes I'm completely crazy, and I can't make sense of the world. It irks me to no end. No I'm not set in my ways but yes I'm stubborn. I know people when I meet them; whether they are wise or whether they are lost, or both – but I don't care, because I'm just as selfish as they are, just as lost, just as wise – and I've learned they might become a good friend some day.
Jesus isn't here, God isn't here, it's just us. We all have to get along somehow. No matter what excuse you use, you can't blame it on something else other than yourself. You can be a POE like Huck and Nancy if you want to, or whoever else has created them, for whatever reason (it would be nice if they revealed themselves and came clean) but either way those "characters" are always going to be there. I can leave N24 tomorrow and you guys will carry on, nothing will be amiss. I probably won't because I enjoy the banter, and having a chance to unleash my fury. For a brief moment I guess it's a bit of a mental massage, and gets my stress off.
Does it do any good?
I've shook hands with men who are a different colour to me, and they never looked me in the eye – I knew instantly they were racist.
I've shook hands with priests of many denominations before and they never looked me in the eye – I knew instantly they didn't believe in their own words.
I've shook hands with men who looked me in the eye and I trusted them, and I was burned.
I can't blame it on religion, creed, race, or anything except myself. Perhaps a man doesn't have to look you in the eye when you shake hands in order to be trusted, maybe it's not so much about being looked in the eye as much as it is understanding – either why you were duped or why you are wrong – but more about being aware.
Being duped (thinking you're right) or proved wrong (thought you were right) brings solace nor any sort of revelation as to the right way to do things. Being aware of as much as you can that is happening around you however, will stand you in good stead. Being aware requires a lot of patience because you have to keep quiet and observe most of the time. Being aware means you have to have an understanding of both sides of any story regardless of what your feelings are. Being aware requires a conscious balance between many reasons, and not having an opinion – but instead having an urge to find a resolution.
I can look a racist in the eye.
Not because I'm better than they are, but because I know they haven't given themselves the chance to think further than what they've been taught. It's difficult to venture into the unknown and shirk the comforts of acceptance – all those things that make the world okay, and when the world isn't okay it's just satan or some tangible excuse – it's not right.
The world is grey, it's complicated, it's not a place for being judgemental. It's not a place for people to make up their minds about others and think it's true. That time is gone.
The world today, is gone tomorrow.
Jesus Christ people, it's over!
It's time to look yourself in the eye.
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