So late last night after an IM conversation with a friend, as I sorted out the timestamps for today’s posts I looked at the draft posts in the WordPress console, I looked at this post and was in two minds about publishing it. It’s a personal post. More about feelings than the rational idea posts I like to put here. A piece whose points I would usually keep for my paper journal. I’m not into public masturbation, despite what you may think. However, I think it needs to be said, so here it is.
The events of this past weekend have hurt me. Deeply. Damien is a dear friend of mine and watching the reaction and blind hate directed at him made me incredibly sad. Despite what you may think, he spends every day from blackout curtained morning to well after midnight working his ass off for other people. Anyone who knows him or has been in his company for a night out, will tell you he’s constantly connected. He’s always answering emails, sending texts, updating Twitter, using Meebo or talking to someone on the phone. Constantly sorting out problems, connecting people, writing press releases, giving advice, getting answers and quelling fights. And sometimes at the same time – who says men can’t multitask?
Oh, yes and the best part is that most of what he gives – 99% – is for free. And he does so without looking for recognition. Silently. I’ve never met anyone who spends so much time every day giving time and effort to so many others. And yes, the Blog Awards is not a money-making enterprise either. He spends hundreds of man hours for free to make sure that people have a good time. Jesus, if there’s a place in Heaven for anyone, he’s there. Probably wearing an overly-expensive t-shirt. But he’ll be there. I may be looking up.
As I watched grenades being thrown, lots of words were used. Like, for example, ego. We’re all guilty of that. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I’m never usually this Christian, but you get the idea. I’ve met a lot of ego creatures. And so have you. People who’d make your skin crawl. He is a man with only a little ego. A lot less than many others I’ve met and I’ll bet a lot less than people you’ve met too. From the place where I stood as I watched slings and arrows getting thrown, there were lots of egos on show.
Like a lot of friendships, ours has had its ups and downs. But I know that in a second, if I knew he needed support I’d be jumping on that plane, train or bus to Cork to give him it. Just to be there. No questions asked, no reasons given. And I know if I hit a low point, he’d do the same for me.
I also know that I would never have continued with blogging or Twittering without his encouragement, witticisms and inspiration. Every Christmas, I like to send Christmas cards to my close friends. A paper artifact of an idea or emotion. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing, but on his I wrote that he inspired me with his constant push for not taking bullshit. For always pursuing truth. And for honesty in words, purpose and action. An intellectual honesty. A person who follows his ideals fearlessly. That’s something to aspire to being. Of course, I wished I had said it more verbosely looking back – but it’s here. So he can read it and reread the card.
The incident over the weekend hurt me as the criticism leveled at Damien bears no resemblance of any experience I’ve had with him. No conversation. No communication. Not for a second. He says what he thinks. He’s a man. He has feelings. Were I in his shoes, I’d be hurting now. I don’t see many recognising that. I also don’t see many giving thanks. Thanks is such a small word. Only six letters. A word that rolls off the tongue too easily, more often than not. I want to say thanks to him for giving and giving and giving. Real thanks. Thanks for being my friend and my role model.
Update: And just to be clear, comments for this are closed.