July 9th, 2018
Stefan took me out for a beer on Sunday afternoon. Well, actually, it was a more than one. I had asked him if he wanted to hang out with me while Karin spent the day with her knitting buddies. We went to the Sprecher bar on the 5th Street, just north of National Avenue. Sprecher is a micro brewery that has been around since 1985. They had a variety of beers on tap. We tried a couple.
While we were together, I talked to Stefan about somebody that I am trying to help, somebody who is struggling. Stefan is a generous and helpful person, but he is usually not interested in sob stories. He is a firm believer in people taking responsibility for their lives. He didn’t think I should be doing as much for the person as I am. Stefan told me flat out that he thought I was getting played.
He might be right. It could be very true that I am being manipulated.
I don’t care.
In the course of my life, I am sure that a number of people and organizations have taken advantage of me. I also know that I have done the same with other people. If I wait until I am absolutely certain about the sincerity of a person in need, then I will most likely never do anything to help anybody. If I trust somebody, can I get hurt? Of course. However, if I refuse to trust, I will never really live. Life is about taking risks, and some of those risks will be foolish ones.
I appreciated Stefan’s candor. I really did. We trust each other enough that we can speak the truth. We can listen to each other.
I told Stefan, “I am glad that you were straight up with me. That means a lot. I was never able to be honest with my dad. Even now, I can’t so that. It’s important that you can say what you need to me.”
Stefan shrugged, “Well, that is at least one thing that got better between generations.”