By Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD)
Recently, I expressed my thoughts as to doing “The Good.” It called forth different views/feelings from readers with one even suggesting I wanted people to be saints. That article made many evaluate their relations to others, finding the hidden, if sometimes unconscious motives for the same.
Commenting, a friend related that a nephew he supports financially, had just requested a sizeable loan. He, being insolvent, asked what to do. I suggested that being no Houdini, much less an omnipotent god, he must appreciate his limitations.
He rejected this, explaining that he never turns down his nephew. He further lamented that if his nephew had but asked how he was doing, it would have given him needed leeway to explain his insolvency.
There upon, I stabbed him in the heart, explaining that he was nought but a dollar sign to his nephew, an opened unlimited financial sesame. “Dust him with some salt!” I advised. His heart needed to recover, then came, “What?”
In clarifying, I related the story of The Generous and The Unconscionable (real names withheld, respecting privacy). The former allowed the latter to live many years free of cost in his home at his expense. When The Unconscionable unwillingly left, The Generous gifted this leech a car, everything from his house, and a bundle to assist in purchasing a house.
The Unconscionable decided on a property costing a monthly mortgage exceeding 3,500 expecting The Generous to finance this, but he lacked the wherewithal so to do. This leech transformed into the Monstrously Unconscionable, resorting to publicly berating this over-generous benefactor as narcissist, irrelevant, and guilty of sins unknown to the Bible.
The Generous held his tongue, having experienced much worse from this Unconscionable who inter alia through fraudulent cheques, had rodded him of thousands! Most important, The Generous knew, “an eye for an eye is making the whole world blind.” I told my friend that Mr. Generous were to have long “dust out” this leech with salt. His silence was lengthy, followed by, “Why salt?!”
In medicine there existed a practice of using leeches to suck out bruise blood and other pus for wounds. The contusion cleaned, salt was dropped on the leech, which stopped sucking immediately. My friend’s nephew is a human leech! I too had fallen victim to leeches until I decided to apply the wise rationale of my head, in place of blind emotions of my heart in dealing with these calculating, snake-like, bogus Lazaruses. From the day I began working, these vultures had their winning lottery ticket, an everyday Father Christmas.
Like my friend the uncle, and The Generous mentioned above, I too had conflated doing The Good with being stupid, allowing myself to be exploited by the selfish, the greedy, the deceitful, the leech. Looking back, I believe that having grown up in the circumstances I did, I was trying to buy friends, purchase appreciation. But the selfish can’t see beyond self; greed can never be satisfied; and the leech sucks its victim to death. This is why we must metaphorically dust these types with salt, I.e., we must break with them if only to save ourselves!
Hobbs’ view was “Man to Man is an arrant Wolfe.” Marley’s is naked, “Man to man is so unjust.” On reflection, I can’t help thinking that Hobbs was rather unkind to wolves. They can never match the level of creative deception and premeditated heartlessness of man. And less you think that all leeches are only after financial or material gain; know that some will drain you of every millilitre of joy as a matter of mission! And the come in all forms, from spouses and children, to churches and pretend charity organizations..
The over 40s will certainly recall the slang “Yo’ salt!” meaning many things, all negative, e.g., if you are financially salt, you are broke; or if you disagreed, “Yo’ salt!” Here however, this discourse is about dusting with salt.
To prefer the approval of those determined to leech you, over doing what’s right is foolish. I maintain “The Good is the right thing to do.” To be beholding to the selfishness, the greed, and the deceitfulness, who only abuse, corrupt and cheapen graciousness and goodness for ignoble ends, is doltish. To accept such naked exploitation is not being good. Doing The Good may lead to being long suffering, over generous, forgiving, but never to being stupid! Break with the leeches! It is the right thing to do!