|My friend Judy who volunteers to train guide dogs for blind|
Hey folks, have to make something very clear. In my previous post called "Volunteering" I was not criticizing volunteering or the work they do. I have friends who volunteer and do much good both for themselves and the beneficiaries of their volunteerism. One of my good friends volunteers to train guide dogs. That is a wonderful thing she does. I so admire her for the selfless work she does to help train guide dogs for the blind. The dogs live in her home while they are puppies to acclimate them to living with people and to see if they have the right personality to be a guide dog.
There are many other selfless acts of volunteerism and in no way do I denigrate this fine work. What my blog was about, and could have been worded better, was that I resent someone volunteering my time or feeling the need to suggest to me the way I should use my time now that I'm retired. Again, we're getting back to my Character Flaw (which I wrote a blog about which resulted in a former friend dismissing me from his Friendship because he took offense that I complained about him wasting my time - never mentioned his name by the way).
No, I prefer to run my own life. The volunteer work I was suggested for was working in two different thrift stores, one as a manager. I just don't have the time nor the inclination for it. My extra time, what I have of it, is for my part-time job and my other interests. I highly resent some others deciding what I should do with my time. Again, this is probably one of my Character Flaws that I am just so easy going.
A couple of years ago I made friends with another gay couple who moved into the neighborhood. I actually went up to their door and knocked on it and introduced myself when the door opened. For a few months the friendship developed with dinners at each other's houses and a few trips the restaurant. It took that long before I realized (Bill saw it before I did) that we were looked upon as an opportunity by the other couple. I don't mind helping out friends (Bill mowed their grass three times, wired up their living room, and other things) but when we were asked to watch their dogs while they went on a three week trip to Florida, that was too much. It was awkward but I turned them down. They said it was alright but the request for favors kept coming. One in particular was asking me to print out all their wedding invitations. I did. The one guy changed his mind on the wording and they asked me to print them again, all fifty! No offer was ever made to pay for a new toner cartridge nor paper.
Finally, one time when they were over for dinner and we were all having a chat after dinner I asked the Head Guy, "Do you think I'm gullible?"' He looked at me and a smile crossed his face and he nodded his head slowly in the affirmative. That did it it. I told him "You have misread me. I may seem like a pushover and gullible but I'm not. " That was the night the friendship ended. We were being used. Somewhere along the line of our friendship he (they) had ceased to respect us (if they ever did) and only saw us as another "opportunity". That's a friendship I don't need.
Perhaps my character flaw is that I let these things go on too long. I am by nature an optimistic person. I want to believe the best in everyone. That's just the way I think (or "roll" that is the term in vogue these days). However, every now and then the evidence is just so overwhelming that there is a basic lack of respect that I can't ignore it. Another way of putting it: "The worm turns."
So back to my posting on volunteering. I think volunteering is fine. I just object when someone volunteers me for something that they think in their judgement I should do. Won't work. Let them volunteer their time.
Secondly, I am reminded every day just how hard it is to find and keep new friends. It seems as if most my really good friends, those people who accept me as I am (warts and all and now I have a real wart on my left forehead), are from years back. I'm glad I got them and I'm glad for any new friends that I've made.
I still remain an optimist.