February 19, 2021
Oh, the minefields we tread these days.
I’m fresh back from a prickly coffee date with a very old friend, someone I’ve known nearly half my 60-something life.
It actually wasn’t prickly until he brought up the V word. I had determined beforehand that I would not breathe a word about V, the deadly potential side effects (like…death), they’re experimental, they’re not FDA approved, they aren’t really a V but an implantable medical device, they don’t prevent sickness or spreading the sickness, and—
I wasn’t going to say ANY of that.
“I see our local shipments of the V got delayed again by bad weather,” he commented, buckling his seat belt. “They just opened up the tier for my age group. I’ll get it as soon as I can, and be safe.”
“You know the V doesn’t actually stop the spread of the disease or prevent you from getting it, right?” I blurted before I could prevent myself.
“Well, no…but it keeps you from getting AS SICK if you do get it.”
I literally bit my tongue. Ouch.
When I got home I thought, And another friend bites the dust.
Think about that for a minute. Where did that expression come from? Does it maybe mean, bite the eternal dust, the grave dust, from dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return?
In this case, I was thinking not that our friendship would bite the dust, but that if he gets the V, there’s an alarmingly high possibility he may get injured or bite the eternal dust of the grave.
I mentioned this incident to Suzi Maresca, who was sympathetic, and who then offered some excellent questions for rumination.
Can you love your friend and accept his choices without judgment?
Can you practice non-attachment?
Can you limit your conversations to ones without controversy and still feel that there’s value in the relationship?
I thought these questions might be helpful to all of us, here. All of us with Auld Friends who have their opinions, and whose opinions—in OUR opinions, perhaps—might remove them prematurely from our lives.
Yes, yes, I know, it’s all fate, karma, pre-birth agreements, soul contracts…what is meant to be, shall be, right?
When I look in the face of my dear old friend, I don’t see a soul contract or karma.
I see a beloved human being, with a wife and kids and his first grandchild on the way, who may not live to see that child born because, instead of being offered extensive information about a medical procedure, he has opted to take it because he has been force-fed information by a one-sided media machine.
He has been told America’s Frontline Doctors and their ilk are charlatans and quacks. He’s been told to trust official governmental bodies to have his best interests in mind. (Perhaps that explains why he was wearing two masks…)
And, smart as he is, he hasn’t looked beyond the easy sources of “news.”
He believes the “fact-checkers.” He can’t easily watch videos or read alternate information or scientific studies because he uses Google, and that stuff gets yanked like noxious weeds from a perfectionist’s garden.
You get the drift. Anyone reading here knows exactly what I’m bemoaning.
So let’s get back to Suzi’s astute questions.
Can I love my friend and accept his choices without judgment? Yes. Well, okay, I’m a little judgy, but I’ll allow myself that.
Can I practice non-attachment? Um…working on it.
Can I limit our conversations to ones without controversy and still feel that there’s value in the relationship? Absolutely.
I don’t know if it’s the right choice, to elect to give up without “telling him the truth as I see it.” I don’t know if I’m supposed to send him a few links, appeal to his intelligence and his logic.
Perhaps I am a coward.
I’ll take a chance that the V won’t injure or kill him, and some day, when the truth(s) are widely known (soon, I pray), perhaps we’ll have a conversation that doesn’t have to be limited in order to keep our friendship.
Perhaps I’ll keep this Auld Friend for a good long while yet.