Familiarity Breeds Contempt – The Perils of Facebook
There is a commonly used saying, that familiarity breeds contempt.
This means that some people tend to give strangers the benefit of respect, which they do not extend to their family or close friends.
A woman said it in these words: “I love my online virtual friends, they do not judge me like my REAL friends do…”
But I wonder if she ever made her virtual friends more than that….. If she ever started to meet them for lunch and invited them to her home…. Would they judge her in the same way her real friends do…..
About two years ago, I felt that maybe the right course of action was to share our great abundance and joy, and to try to help people…… To try to make a difference in someone’s life, with a far extending and intimate attempt, rather than just donating money to charities.
I once read about the life story of one of the world’s most respected genetic researchers.
He published research saying that we are genetically encoded to help ONLY those who are genetically related to us, and that in contradiction, we are genetically encoded to have no remorse over ignoring, and even killing, those who are NOT related to us.
Now, I believe that the science of genetics is very limited.
It may help us map our animalistic material bodies, but it discounts our primary core, which is our Spirit, which generates and governs our lives, and is the true nature of reality.
But apparently, even this genetics researcher felt that his findings simply COULD NOT be true…. He felt that Life must be more loving and generous than this…
And so, inspired by his Christian beliefs, he took to inviting many homeless people to his house in Los Angeles, to feed them and to give them a place to sleep…
He offered them a chance to rehabilitate themselves and to improve their lives…
Instead of taking advantage of his generous help and attempting to uplift themselves out of their miserable circumstances, the homeless stole from him, ransacked his place and converted his home into a drug den.
They proved that homelessness is not a matter of pure misfortune and circumstances, but a prevailing frame of mind…. That could only be changed when EACH individual is ready to step out of it, in his own time….
This researcher died heartbroken and disillusioned.
Two years ago, Jules and I made the same mistake that he did…
We joined Facebook, and daily we were confronted by the reality that we were so much better off than many of our “FB Friends”….
Not just financially, but it seemed that they were dealing with life’s challenges in all the wrong ways…. Going down dead end paths, feeding their anger, alienating people, and doing all they can to sabotage their lives….
On many occasions, we decided to do something about it and to help those whom we thought needed help.
We helped a woman who was recently made redundant at her job, donated money to many personal causes and on two separate occasions, we even invited people who were down on their luck to come and stay with us.
We paid for their airfares, their food, furnished them with personal computers, clothing and gave them much pocket money.
They stayed at our home, dined with us in restaurants, and we spent a lot of time trying to show them how far some sane and uplifted ways of thinking, can go… If one is just willing to uplift himself….
In both cases the attempts were disappointing to say the least….and we could not wait for the time to be over…..
Those men looked at us, not as willing, loving and helpful friends, who were trying to help them, but as a cash cow, which they could milk for as long as we would let them….. And when we decided not to be a cash cow any more, they left our home disappointed and full of rage.
It was as if the fact that we extended money, and not just friendship, reduced them to teenagers, and they imagined themselves to be transformed into a magical world, in which their wallets were being filled as fast as they could empty them…..
It was never my intention to make enemies for myself……l simply wanted to help those people…and I was faced with needing to fend off loads of anger, accusations and resentments, from people whom I had no business befriending, or bringing into my home and attempting to help them in the first place….
Our attempts at befriending those unhappy men were damaging beyond repair, and our attempt to help them had failed miserably.
Both Jules and I were heartbroken for a long time, and only now, their memory is fading from our minds, and we can admit that all of those experiences had taught us dozens of painful, very expensive….but none the less, valuable lessons…
Not wanting to expose ourselves again to the same experiences, and getting tired of the constant moaning and never satisfied people that we met on FB, both Jules and I quit Facebook altogether.
We noticed that so many people are neither stuck nor helpless, but that they created their situations and kept holding on to their misery and anger with a vengeance, and that they were unwilling to let go of any of it, nor see it from any other point of view.
Yes, those men wanted our money, charity and friendship, but only as far as it operated to boost their own belief systems and egos.
They did not want to change, nor change anything in their unhappy lives, they just wanted to TAKE what was so willingly offered to them…. Maybe a free, all-expenses paid vacation…. Maybe the goods that we bought them… Who knows….
We noticed that so much online exposure to miserable people, had clouded our own good judgment, and we had lost our own happiness along the way.
We lost our own bearings and lowered our own vibrations beyond what was good and wholesome for us….
This was a hard and sobering lesson to learn…. That people are where they are at, for a REASON…. And ONLY when they let go of their cherished beliefs that cause them to be there, will their external situation change.
Did the experiences traumatize us?
And it took a lot effort to remind ourselves that they were not REAL friends who had betrayed us, but strangers from Facebook, whom we tried to help, to love and to embrace, and that we failed to do so…..
Sometimes people are worthy of your trust, and sometimes they are not….
We had to remind ourselves that we do not need to hide away from the world in our mountain sanctuaries just because of our failed attempts, but that we know some really good people whom we call friends, and that we should enjoy the handful of friends that we do have, who would never do this kind of thing to us.
We also recognized that if we had not been exposed to the mixed and unwholesome vibrations from FB, we would have been better judges of character, and would have never put ourselves in those unpleasant situations….
Our minds were clouded and muddy from too much interaction on FB, and we lost our good judgement.
A neighbor from NZ, who lives near us in Kohukohu and had recently traveled around Europe with his wife and dog, had a funny quote that summed it up for me.
I do not remember who he mentioned that had written it, but he said:
“If you take a stray dog and wash his wounds, feed him, give him a home and love him, he will think that you are God….
While if you take into your home a stray cat, care for it, feed it and love it, it will think that IT is God…”
This funny saying summed it up wisely for me.
It is not that I minded that our generosity boosted those people’s egos until they believed that they were gods…
It is just that very quickly, they turned on us and viewed us, not as benefactors, but as less worthy and less valuable than them.
Yes…. Familiarity breeds contempt….
If we had stayed only virtual friends, I am sure that they would have stayed respectful of us, since we offered them nothing but kindness……..,
It is because we brought them into our home…… Because we exposed our hearts to them, that they felt they had the right to step on us, as they do with everyone else in their own lives, which is why they live such unfortunate lives to begin with…..
So…. if your own life’s experience will take you down “Sucker’s Alley,” you will not see us standing there… Trying to help those who are not yet ready to help themselves…
My own attempt to help uplift the human race and to raise consciousness will extend to my writings and offering my words to those who wish for them, or to those who ask my advice….
Do I advise you not to help others?
Of course not, just do not do it in a foolish way that will deplete you, or can damage your own well being, like we did….
I still want to trust strangers and to believe that goodness is all around….
I still want to see the Light in every person, regardless of how they perceive themselves….
But Facebook taught me to be more aware and more respectful of the FREE WILL that each individual has, and to respect their right to perceive and present themselves, as whomever they want to be…. Poor, mad, angry, sick or anything else… And I have to respect their will, and hope that one day, they too will want to see only the light inside themselves, and to express only that….