The first time I spoke about this was when I first talked of Cancelling Friends.
Here I am again.
Same story. Same concept. A big repeat. Why do we give certain people in our life more attention than they deserve? At the cost of of the people who deserve it? When we know that the people in our lives mean a lot, we take them for granted. That is not the problem.
We tend to focus our care for those who don’t care about us. My family and my friends, who have a genuine interest in my life – are sidelined as I develop an ethos for those that do not matter. Why do I do that?
I have desperately scattered my own values in a vast field. In the dark evening, as I walk through that field, I see the truth. What we leave behind we consider as our own. What stands in front of us, we desire. There, we forget all that we have achieved.
A few months ago, I invited every person I knew to join me on a drive: an enjoyable drive. I repeated it for a few weekends. I did not make a single trip, with the folks who were invited. I have, now, learnt that it boils down to what I have termed as – Genuine Interest. We have to have that with certain people in our lives. People who “Like” are playing the Facebook game. Not all my Facebook friends are not my friends. They are a network. A select few are exceptions, but that is all. Of the couple of hundred people who claim to know me, how many really know me? Jackson Pollock and me at this time. A personal project. I am willing to tell — but, who is interested? What do you know? My smarty-pants profile pic and re-shares? Did you define who I am, based on those?
When a very dear friend decided to stay away from “networking”, I have questioned myself about my own ethos on SNs. I really do care about the people I know who I do not know. I like their thinking. Funny, but true. There’s more. We mistake another person’s extraction from his (her) network to be who they are. In your few hundred friends, do you know who is a fundamentalist feminist, or gay, or a republican, or a communist (If they behave against the ethics that you have loosely defined for yourself – will you offer them up)? Further, are these the labels that you use to define your friends?
I have been lucky to meet real people. This world will not change as radically as you imagine in the next few years. Till then, and ever after, I am glad, I have a genuine interest in this person and his life. I shudder, when I think of the real folks I have met, who have no interest in my life. They don’t care. They want meta-tags. Referential material.
As much as I can, because I have an interest in your life, I will attempt to know what works for you and what doesn’t. What drives you; your constraints; their origin. There will come a time when you will relegate me to “public” updates. I will still, not give up.
Dear friend, I have learned one thing. you have found purpose in the same place that I was running blind. You have found the ways and means to let me go. I have not. Maybe, someday, I will. Now, I contradict myself. Till that day, I am a part of your life.
It is amusing, you have to admit – we have learned how we can distance ourselves. We have not learned how to delete each other. So, this story you will never know. Someday, if not over a beer, over a coffee, I hope you can tell me, about that one moment when things changed between us.
While you search for that, I wish you success. I know, you know, I do.