I’d like to tell you about this guy I know. I think his experience and his example are very relevant to what is happening in America right now.
This guy is spectacularly talented, a great communicator and clearly very intelligent. He could make a mint if he worked in media or the advertising industry, I bet, or as a motivational speaker. That doesn’t seem to interest him, however. Frankly, he is unemployed, and doesn’t seem to be looking for a job. He and a group of his friends live mostly off of the charity of others, although they are always eager to share what little they have with pretty much anybody they meet. Sort of a commune kind of thing, frankly, like people used to do in the 60s. The other people who hang around with him are pretty cool, too, but this guy is definitely the leader, who sets the tone.
This guy wasn’t born rich or privileged. His stepfather worked with his hands and made a decent living, but this guy didn’t go into the family business. Instead he travels around a lot with his friends. He gives motivational speeches sometimes, but he doesn’t charge for them.
In fact, a lot of the people he talks to are poor or disadvantaged. He seems to really know how to reach them, and he is always willing to give them a hand in material ways as well. He works with the sick a lot, too, and has been credited with doing a lot of good for them. He is quite talented at this work, and could probably charge a lot for his services, but instead he donates his time and energy. Definitely not a business genius.
He actually makes it a point to hang around with people who many of us would shy away from. Sick people. Poor people. Foreigners. Even criminals and those accused of doing bad things. This guy actually seems to prefer hanging around with them rather than with the wealthy and privileged. He may want people to change what they do sometimes, but he never turns them away and he never yells at them. In fact, sometimes he protects them when others are being unfair to them. Even more than that, he frequently says that the poor and disadvantaged people he hangs out with are actually living their lives better than others.
One of his main points is that we should take responsibility for our own issues, rather than seeking to blame others for theirs. That’s a pretty cool way of looking at things.
I have to say he doesn’t seem to think much of rich people, or of really religious people (you know the kind, the ones who really want everyone else to know how religious they are). That makes me uncomfortable with him sometimes, because well, I’m kind of rich and pretty religious. In the end, though, I think it’s good that he makes me uncomfortable sometimes
I worry about this guy, though. Sometimes he just doesn’t know when to shut up. He’s angered some pretty powerful people, who don’t seem to like his popularity and definitely don’t like that he criticizes those in positions of wealth and power. I fear that something bad could happen to him if he keeps it up.
I guess you could say he is kind of a radical, politically, with the example he sets and the opinions he shares. Opinions that always side with the weak and oppressed rather than the wealthy and powerful. In my opinion, he’s not really political, though. I don’t think he would ever run for office, for example, and he has resisted attempts by others to use him for political purposes.
No, his goals, as far as I can tell, seem to be more about people and their own personal situation rather than about politics. I know that the more I spend time listening to him and reading what he has to say (he has a few guys in his group that try to write it all down and publish it), and the more time I spend trying to be like him and act as he would want me to, the better I feel about myself and others around me. Frankly, it makes me happy and calms me down just to think about him.
This guy has that effect on people. He seems to know how to say just the right thing to let you know that you’re not alone, that he cares about you and is always on your side.
There are a lot of folks who say they know this guy, but the way they show it frequently puzzles me. They seem to have gotten a lot of things reversed. They hang out with and admire the rich and powerful, and have harsh criticism for the sick, the poor, the disadvantaged, the foreigner and the accused. They seem to blame those people for the situation they find themselves in. In fact, they seem to spend an awful lot of time worried about the bad things other people have done or will be doing, and very little looking in the mirror to improve themselves, as this guy I know is always talking about.
I wish everybody could know this guy. He’s pretty cool.
I also wish everyone who says they know him would actually listen to what he says and take his advice. That would be really cool.