Two things occurred this past week which reminded me of this classic rule to live your life by. The one that happened to me was the much lesser of the two, but proves the point rather well.
You may remember that in a prior post I described building a free website, then hosting and maintaining it, also for free, for 12 years. It really helped his business and with the Google analytics, I could actually see that I was cleaning up on almost 100% of the google searches for the 2 keywords, Hobro and Taxi. Not a bad result at all when a Danish business, supposedly experts in their field, offered the same service for 10,000 kr.
I had always had a lot of respect for this man. His rare desire to actually work and earn his way, helping others along the way was impressive. Even if it often seemed to cause him more grief than good through fines from the ubiquitous Skat and the fellow taxi drivers in the local co-operative, who had worked out he was the most dynamic and accordingly, treated him like Boxer from Animal farm. It’s a most interesting footnote to this part of the story that when even he finally realised he was being treated like Boxer from Animal farm, he withdrew from this co-operative. Rather than show gratitude for the years he’d helped them, they pursued legal means to grab the domain hobrotaxa.dk that I had bought him as a christmas present and created my first free website for him, back in 2007. Yes, even during my darkest days here, I still tried to help others out. This is what you get in return, the lessons are ultimately there that everyone is in it for themselves, even those you may consider to be friends and colleagues.
No matter, I was sure that he was more of an ally than others were. I never learnt to trust the serial welfare-abusing sister, or the chain-smoking mother whose indisciplined lifestyle always seemed to affect my children adversely when they stayed over. Is ensuring your children clean their teeth and go to bed before midnight really too much to ask? Apparently so, in this case. I was willing to overlook the indiscretions from the stories I was told of his past. He was one of the few people I didn’t begrudge helping out a bit here, as it seemed to be reciprocated. I dusted myself down in 2012 and built him a new website, for his new taxi company and tried not to be too upset at the donation of my Chesterfield wing armchair with matching footstool to him, by someone else who was adept at giving away my life stock. He still uses it now, I imagine.
In 2016, that changed. He completely took sides and the side he took was completely against me. In this case, you can’t even really say the other adage, that Blood is thicker than water, since in reality he’s no blood relation of my children or their mother. Yet, he has become part of the machinery that now considers itself to be the perfect care package for my children. Of course, you have to ignore that rug on the floor over there, you know, the one with the huge lump under it, where decades of similar, perhaps even worse transgressions have been swept under. If you can just remove that from the field of vision, then it all looks idyllic.
The weirdness in question is, that despite all the siding against me, just a week ago I received an email telling me that he was winding the business down now to just be one car and could I perhaps just, you know, delete his website so he doesn’t get any more calls. I couldn’t believe it. Analysing it a week later, it fits though, to many Danes the udlændige are just sub-human commodities to be utilised as they see fit.
I’m pleased to say that I didn’t do it. Instead I changed settings so it forwarded to familiehus.dk, where you can read the story of how some awful people conspired to use the power of their state to cut a man, his parents and sisters out of his children’s lives. His response?
Enjoy the life you make
By that token, Perhaps an old man whose son didn’t speak to him for over 20 years, with several marital indiscretions and who now plays the #FakeGrandad role may too have a life as he made it.
One week later, I see the website no longer redirects. He, or someone else, worked out the required change needed to be done by the domain owner, to change the nameservers. Not me then. I can be glad I didn’t contribute any more. The key lesson is that borrowing and lending isn’t just about money, it’s also time, resources, Chesterfield armchairs and even children. The less you borrow and lend, the more you rely on your own resources, the less obligations you have to others, the better life is.