In August, I got a job. I had been unemployed since leaving the Army, and I was starting to get worried. I had my savings, but they would have run out eventually; what would I have done then?
Then I got the job. It was the one I had been hoping for, and it was more than halfway across the country. For the first time, I got to leave the place of my birth and irrelevance without shackles (the Army may be great in many ways, but it comes with many conditions that put restrictions on your life).
So I moved, and I like my job, my coworkers, and my new home. The only thing that I dislike is the drive to work in city traffic every morning. For the first time, it seems that things are starting to work out for me.
At the same time, two of my friends have suffered serious downturns in their own lives. One of those friends is a real-world, personal friend whom I have known for many years. The other is a virtual friend whom I have known for only about a year and a half, and then only through blog comments and email; nevertheless, I owe her a special debt of gratitude, and feel very close to her despite the fact that we will never meet in person.
It seems terribly unfair, though one could say that I’ve already experienced the suffering portion of life. Just a few years ago, everything in my life was different; my future was only a sliver of hope, and I had no idea what to do about things. If it had not been for my mother, I can imagine what would have happened – though I do not like to do so.
It is because I’ve been there that I believe the things that I do. I have watched religion fail those in need time and again, and I know that the only things we have to rely on is each other. I have seen the self-interest and indifference of those in positions of power, and I know that the hierarchy – any hierarchy – is always going to fail those who near the bottom. I have no confidence in the government to solve our problems in society, because the government is always incompetent – though some shades of governments are worse than others, and we should continue to fight against them.
We live in a world of particles and forces, and the only intelligence comes from our own brains. That is also the only source of goodness, just as it is also the only source of evil. I spent too much time trying to convince myself otherwise, so that I could rationalize the dichotomies in my life. Disillusionment was the result.
I don’t know what to do to help out my real-life friend. However, if anyone stops by and reads this, you can help out my virtual friend, Deb, by going to her fantastic site, clicking the PayPal button, and helping her save her mother. If there is anything else you can do, then please do it.
Remember: if we do not have each other, then we don’t have anything at all.