My father often repeated his advice.
"Do not try to save people," he would say, between sticks of Gudang Garam. "They will only be nice to you when they have use of you. When you are no longer useful, they will cast you off, and more frequently, they will try to kill you. No one wants to remember they owe you anything."
"Then, pray tell," I said. Between sticks of Marlboro Menthol Lights. "Why did you help them?"
"It's different. I am an old man. I live with these people, as a people. And as part of my community, I can't but take care of it."
"And they tried to kill you?"
"Well, consider this guy, X. His family did not have any money - they were eating tapioca for three whole days. They have a car, but not enough money for food. So I helped them out. Then, as soon as he had enough energy, he went and spread malicious rumours and slander about me. People are like that. That's what they do."
"I do understand that for some people, they are so insecure, that they have a constant need to prove themselves better than others, and the best way is to set up matches only they could win. Or to put down the other person, as that is the easiest way to climb over people."
"You have it right."
"Yes, but isn't it our duty, or responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves? Regardless of what they will say about us? As long as the truth is by our side, there is nothing to fear? You told me this."
"Yes, I taught you that. But I have lived far longer than you."
"And yet, you did it too! You helped them! More than anyone I know, you have helped them. For decades!"
"And look at me now. I minimize my interaction with them. I stay within these four walls. I plant flowers. I take care of my land. My space. You should, too."
"Then it is a lost cause?"
"It has always been a lost cause. Nothing you do will ever change people. The most powerful, influential men in history never could. Sure, they came up with new systems, new inventions, but at the end of they day, they failed to change the people. People will remain people. There will always be the poor, the stupid. I have seen it all."
"Then it is all pointless?"
"The point is YOU. You are the point of your existence. Of your life. Do not get caught up or waste your time and money with liars, conmen and idiots. They are only out to get you and hurt you."
"Not if I become invincible."
"No one is invincible."
"Invincibility is accepting my own flaws and my own evil. They cannot touch me if I do not run away."
"Up to you. I believe that you will have to go through it one day, after you are no longer useful. But I am telling you that it is a fool's errand. Even if you manage to help them, they will kill you, in the end. ANyway, this land, I am giving it to you. You must never sell it. Never give it to them. Never give it to anyone else. It is yours and yours alone."
Food for thought.
I did most things in my life for other people. Not that I did not benefit from some of it. And am definitely not saying that I'm fucking noble or some shit like that. Far from it. SOme of the shit I did, man.
Honestly, I do not know if what I am doing or will do is smart or stupid. Right or wrong. Because I believe the lines of definition for those labels constantly shift with time.
As I grow older, though, more responsibility is heaped upon my shoulders. A piece of land I cannot sell. Shit. It is a gift and a burden.
Oh well. There's always hentai. And to go emo over all this shit is just giving power over me to other people. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'll tell you how it went on the other side.
See you in another life, brother.