|Water fowl, Carine swamp 14 July 2012. True friends.|
I want to set out my principles.
- Honesty – sort of goes without saying and most people are pretty honest, but I try harder, get it? More, MUCH MUCH more to come. It’s too much to post now.
- Politeness – when someone speaks to me, I answer straight away, or as soon as I become aware they’ve spoken to me. I answer emails asap. I admit, I have the time and others often don’t, but … I get tired of people who don’t answer. It’s the same as if you spoke to me on the street and I turned away without answering. How would you feel?
- Be nice – always maintain a cheery attitude, even if I’m hurt. “Leave ’em laughing.” People say to me at the end of phone calls, “Good conversation, Pete.” I really, really, really, really try to be cheery and upbeat.
- I am taking a stand against racism. This is a big issue with me. I have “friends” who speak of abos, boongs, coons and “illegals”. One in particular said, when I mentioned my sister’s loss of her purse to a thief in a supermarket, “Oh, that’ll be the coons.”
He is so stupid, so dull that I know he doesn’t realise what he’s saying, but I’ve asked him to stop and he doesn’t.
I have decided I will no longer accept it. These people have been moved to my outer circle or banished.
One particular “friend” of 46 years still comes to my house cadging coffee and cake and calls them “illegal immigrants” despite my objections. It seems it doesn’t matter how many times I object, he continues. I wonder why I allow him into my house. I should not.
- Charity. Simple enough. We live in an incredibly rich country and we should give to those who are desperately poor, destitute.
I used to give to many charities but the events of last year set me back. I will now try to resume.
- Obligation. I worked in a full time job all my working life and I paid my tax, every cent of it. I tried to claim any legitimate expenses, yes, but whatever happened, I paid my tax.
I have become aware over the years of people who will go to almost any lengths to avoid paying their tax. They regard it as a sport, a legitimate way to have fun challenging the tax rules. They engage in family trusts, even though they don’t have a family. The trust is purely a means to minimise their tax, their obligations. The more they can avoid, the greater they feel. “Wow, look at me, I paid almost no tax last year. Aren’t I clever?” NO! NO! NO! You are in the outermost circle of my “friends” along with notorious tax avoiders like Kerry Packer.
- Keeping my promises. If I say I’ll be somewhere at some time, I’ll be there! If I say I’ll do something for someone, I’ll do it! If I can, I’ll keep my promise. This seems to be an old fashioned notion these days. Pity about that.
- Loyalty. I stick with friends if I possibly can. I was stunned recently by a former work colleague, who I thought was a friend, who said, “Oh, Rex [name disguised} hasn’t made any effort to come down here [from near Merriwa], so I’m not going to bother any more.” Rex had a brain aneurysm in 2003 and doesn’t get out much any more. He lives a hermit existence. I visit him when I can. Hard to understand people who won’t make any effort.
- Keeping up! I keep learning, keep doing, keep trying. It’s not good enough to say, “Oh, I can’t understand that stuff.” OK, boring, outer circle.
- Oh, nearly forgot. Admit mistakes. Apologise. Say, “I got it wrong, sorry.” I try to do that at all times.
Well, that’s the way I see it. I try to live up to ideals. I’m not always successful and if I have to, I’ll apologise, as I did last year when I lost my perspective for a month or two. I’ve actually said sorry at least five times, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I am NOT going to go down on bended knee. I’ve done enough.
I also keep meticulous records and I have an elephantine memory, as well as an elephant body. If you want to dispute me, if you want to take me on, I will prove every statement I make. Count on it.
That’s me. Take it or leave it. I am moving many former friends to the outer circle at the moment because they don’t, won’t and can’t meet my standards. I don’t like what’s happening, but I see no other path.