The people section of Word151 is normally biographies of interesting people. Today I want to take a close look at the morality of people. People both in the way you roll your eyes and say ” Oh God people” and those who define what it is to be human.

So, I am an expat who has lived in France for many years. I’ve been lucky that in all the time I have lived abroad I have had somebody to handle the heavy paper work and bureaucracy for me. This Summer I found myself in the middle of a surprise separation and on top of that the separation was used to block communication from my children (who are my world) for the bulk of the Summer under the guise of a “planed vacation”.

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With no communication from my (now) ex and being cut off from my children I depended on the kindness of others. My few very close friends have been there for me. They have offered support, translation services, legal advice (both qualified and unqualified)  etc. Really anything I needed my friends were there. Sometimes I needed small but important questions to be answered, not wanting to over burden the friends of mine that were already doing so much I reached out a little to old acquaintances and ex-students of mine. Nearly everybody came through and have been so key to helping me deal with this difficult time other than this one guy.

One guy who I have know for years but I admit am not very close to gave a flat out No He had no time for such trivial things as he is a busy parent. Now this guy is a mutual friend with my soon to be ex-wife as well but, when I have visited the town where he and his wife and children live we have always paid a visit, bought gifts for his children and never visited without a contributing amount of booze for the occasion. When my “wife” has been in town without me she has not always made the effort to see them. When we had started this site I asked him is he would be willing to contribute a monthly cartoon, he refused saying that he was too busy and that is completely understandable it was an offer to contribute creatively and he didn’t have time. This Summer I reached out to him in crisis mode as I did others asking for help to sort through the puzzle that was my future life to prepare. What I received from him was a similar response as when I was asking him to contribute creatively. He was too busy to deal with it. I think at the time I was looking for an answer as to what is the difference between the government programs RMI and RMA, something very difficult for me but no sweat off any French person.

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Now during my hell of a summer, vomiting everyday from missing my children so much, a log distance friend of mine reached out to me, I explained my situation but added that I would be happy to help as best I could. I’m not looking for a medal for that response but I was sincere. If you can’t help out your friends when they are in need my guess is that you are no friend at all. This French dude fancies himself a cool down to earth cat, responsible parent and caring human being maybe he is those things but it is clear that he is not a friend. To my friends that have been there for me THANK YOU I wish I could tell you that the storm is weathered and it is blue skies ahead but I don’t think we are there yet. True friend are second only to children and much more dependable than those we marry.