Human Nature and choices
Monday, February 07, 2011
this doesn't have anything to do with weight loss--its just an experience i am having that points to the importance of living a life with integrity.
i have a young (college age) friend, who is an avid plant person. in fact he is the most avid plant person i have ever known. over the years we have bonded over plants and spent a lot of time exchanging ideas and experiences together. this young man is very idealistic, and all about living responsibly, sustainably, promoting equality, peace, harmony--all those admirable things.
i am the kind of person who always chooses to view people's goodness--i do not seek out or easily see the bad in people. more than one person has told me i am blind to peoples faults. well--so be it. this is a conscious decision that i make because i never want to slip into the negative side of thinking--more often than not, when you do that, you are wrongfully blaming or indicting someone and thats not fair. sometimes i am surprised and disappointed by things that people do. but i would rather be wrong in this way than the other.
this has recently happened to me with this young man.
for several years i have had the idea rolling around in my head to create a grass roots organization that would serve the many small specialty nurseries in this area. where we live is kind of a horticultural armpit with the exception of some little known family operations that are run by highly intelligent, interesting people. i wanted there to be a central point where they could come together and by virtue of being a part of a greater whole, gain more recognition in the market place. my key idea for this was to develop a nursery crawl whereby these small outfits could band together for a weekend and put out a map of all their locations so people could find out about and go visit them.
last summer during a facebook chat i told my friend about this idea and asked him if he wanted to adopt it. he jumped at the chance and i told him at the time that i was officially 'giving' him the idea--it was now his to run with--and he has. in a very short period of time he has developed and grown this idea and it is far larger and more exciting than it ever would have been if i had tried to develop it myself. he and i have conferred a great deal about it, and several other people have stepped up in a huge way to give birth to this wonderful concept. i am thrilled for him at this success.
so whats the problem? it is a minor one--but it speaks to character.
this friend is vying for a very good scholarship that is given by a state gardening organization, of which i am a member. he asked me to write a letter of recommendation, which i did. in the letter i made a reference to the intitial conversation that birthed the idea, and also made note of the fact that he had taken my original idea and expanded upon it greatly, and made it ever so much better than i would have hoped.
the letter was a bit long (he hadn't told me there was a specification of one page) so he asked permission to condense the content. i agreed and asked to see the final draft, which i just received. the tone of the letter is the same, except for the fact that no mention of the origin of this concept remains in it.
the credit for the idea isn't really important to me. what matters is his willingness to write a friend out so completely. he is young and has many MANY projects and ideas like this in his future--and he will be collaborating with many people as years go by. this is a pattern of behavior and a character trait that disappoints me deeply. especially in someone who is so vociferously idealistic--the words come out so easily, but the true spirit doesn't seem to dwell within.
humility is a hard lesson to learn, and the learning of it sure isn't pleasant. i see difficulties in his life ahead that will come from his own actions.
i really and truly couldn't care less if people know this idea started out in my head. but it makes me very sad that he doesn't care either.
regardless of what we say--we all walk the walk of our own level of integrity.