Like most people, I have done plenty of favors in my life. I even helped people get jobs that, without my help, they never would have gotten. I went so far as to create a false set of credentials for someone so they could get a job at which I knew they would prosper. They did and I was never caught (statute of limitations has long passed).
Also like most, I’ve loaned or given money to people without any concern of getting it back. That’s a good thing because, also like most people who loaned money, I never did.
So why the decision to not do favors anymore? I’ve had a bit of extra thinking time lately and realized that most of the people I’ve done favors for over the years have simply dropped out of my world, although some have “friended” me on Facebook. I know communication is a two-way street, but most of my attempts to communicate with them resulted in either no response or a one or two word reply. WTF?
My Grandmother used to say a lot of useless crap under the guise of aged wisdom. One of the things she used to say quite often was, “Eaten bread is soon forgotten.” Maybe she wasn’t as full of crap as I always thought. Oh wait, yes she was.
As for the money borrowers, I can only think that they cannot pay me back and they’re embarrassed about it. Or they’re just greedy bastards who have put the touch on me and many others.
I am always surprised these days by people who still ask me for money, usually thousands of dollars. I drive an 11-year-old car, don’t dress in really expensive clothes and don’t spend like a drunken cowboy. (I’m sure that offended someone.) But I am approached regularly for “loans” and sometimes for very large outright gifts. It’s so bad lately that I almost had a T-Shirt made with the words – “Don’t ask me for money!” – emblazoned on the front and back. Rosanne talked me out of it.
I have been flat broke and homeless in my life. I had to sell things so I could eat. I know what poverty looks and feels like. I am sorry that people are going through tough times. But until I get a visit from the 3 ghosts of Christmas, I don’t think it’s my problem. Many people I’ve helped financially and otherwise have never offered to do anything for me. For the first time in my life, I reached out to a couple of folks I did favors for in the past. A couple of my contacts from the DRTV world know some pretty influential movers and shakers in the music business. I asked them for an intro for me as a songwriter. None of them ever responded to my request. Tell me my music sucks, tell me I stink, anything. But to go completely mute?
It’s interesting to note that one of my peers in the DRTV industry, whom I’ve never met but always admired, contacted me after my first Nashville demo was produced. She offered to play the song for a friend of hers who happened to be a huge name in country music. She not only offered, she did it! The country person didn’t like the song, which is fine since I’ve heard both positive and negative reviews of it from the Nashville pros I’m working with these days. But someone I never met went out of her way and did me a real solid. I will never forget it and do anything possible should this person ever ask for my help. So this is not an “I hate everybody” post. I acknowledge there are good people out there, just not the ones I’ve done favors for or loaned money. Yeah, like the guy I lent money to so he could attend a relative’s funeral. A few months later, he trashed me on the Internet because he thought I was a negative person. He’s right. I’m very negative about him these days.
Again, I never do favors expecting anything in return. I guess that’s a good thing since the times I did something nice for someone, I was met by a wall of silence afterwards.
I have real world friends here in California and all over the country. Really good friends outside of Facebook, for whom I’ve done nothing, favor wise. Some of these people have been my closest friends for decades. So I’m not talking about those folks or the people I only know through Facebook, but most of them have been very supportive as well. But you’d think the people I’ve done things for over the years might take a second to note something interesting I’ve posted. Of course, the fact remains that maybe they don’t think I’ve posted anything interesting. That is their right. If that’s the case I understand and they can go f**k themselves.
Reciprocity should be a way of life. I have always returned the unsolicited kindness of others any way I can. Apparently I’ve done favors in the past for a lot of selfish people. Again, those people can go f**k themselves.
I think better when I write, so I put this little diatribe down on the screen. When it comes right down to it, the opening says it all – I don’t do favors anymore.