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November 2, 2010

Important People

Filed under: Culture And Society — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 8:42 am

I can honestly say, I feel blessed to have the people who are now part of my day to day life.

From the handful of relatives, to my wife and close friends – people who I see face to face and who are there for me as I am there for them – not through some impersonal, superficial, digital connection. So I say, “Hit the internet kill switch Barack Obama” and let’s see how many of those social network participants have actual, reciprocating friendships. 500 friends online doesn’t amount to squat come the real challenges of life!

But I digress – I didn’t always have such genuine people in my life. For the longest time, like so many of us, I surrounded myself with people that never reciprocated interest or concern for me. I was so busy investing time and energy in these people that I didn’t notice that if I stopped, nothing was being invested in me. It took a long time to learn that a relationship needed to be reciprocated, whether that be with a relative, friend or partner.

So when things were at their worst, in the early 1990s, and I was forced to stop investing in people – primarily because of the lengthy hospital stays – it dawned on me that not a single person I had thought were friends, were friends!

It took many more years to excise most of these people from my life, and to this day, its an ongoing struggle to not fall into the trap of one way connections. (There are still 2 or 3 people, I do this with, and that’s because they did support me either financially or emotionally for a brief period of time in the 1990s – the rest of these anthropomorphic mannequins are long gone.)

The interesting thing is that the truly important people are just there for you, as you are for them – the “humble servant”, in the best sense of the Orthodox Christian faith. While those who think they’re important, are never there for anyone other than themselves – and that really amounts to nothing in the grand scheme of things. Human islands, I have come to know, do not survive the rising tide of life’s complications!

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

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