One thing I notice about living in the Caribbean is that people love a free ride. Now, I don't mind if someone needs help, and you have the means to do so, its a personal decision and the ball is in your court.
Growing up, I have found that friendship is a very expensive relationship to have, so by all means it must work for the both or the whole lot of you in that group. Let me explain. You grew up with this person, you both lived in the same area, you shared your dreams, goals, moments, tears, braids, etc. Basically, they have your back and you have theirs, a beautiful friendship.
Now, life tends to change things, divorces, unemployment, accidents, migrations. Suddenly, you find yourself growing out of the friendship, and you both are no longer close. Then one day you bounce up:
"Hey, what's up, how is your mother/auntie/uncle?"
They good, what about you? How is Amber and ....."
Suddenly, there is a common bond there, you exchange notes, history, address, telephone numbers. You are excited. But then, there is a little seed called "Strange". It does not appear right away, it is growing. Strange the Seed, can start off real cute with some "kitchy-koo" flowers, but little did you know, that "kitchy-koo" usually grows into "Ungrateful the Gobble".
You find that whenever there is a problem, you are the first person of choice, you have to leave your job before break to help them out, you have to give them money every-time you meet, babysit their hordes of kids, listen to their midnight rants, loan them this and loan them that, and don't get it back, drop them here and drop them there. When you really take stock of yourself, and them, you find that in terms of accomplishments they are always one step ahead of you. While, you are always in their shadow. And when they sense that you will out shine them, they suddenly develop another problem for you, the Friday night bobolee, to help them out of. And you say yes.
"Friendship is a very expensive word", said one partner of mine.
Now, you all must think, that I don't like to help people, and that is how folks used to do it long time. I have an experience. There is this person I know who has a car, they go to work with it and then they return and park it up, that person has a friend with stiff knees, they are very close, when the friend with the stiff knees needs a ride, does "Park-up-car" offer her a ride? Nope. "Stiffy" must travel.
So, if I am going out with a group, and I am requested pick up folks, I have several requirements: you must live 5 mins from me, or meet me by my street; if I do have to pick you up, gas and car parts are expensive, I require some compensation upfront, as you sit in my air-conditioned space; and if you want me to do the following: wait, pick-up an unknown person, or something, or take a detour, find someone else to make pick up arrangements. This applies for returning home. Lastly, for free benefits, and my Heart of Gold VIP card service, you must be of this group: family, elderly, single parent who is seriously strapped for cash and, the disabled. And so far, it has been great. I am able to reserve space in my vehicle for beautiful people, and I enjoy talking with the older ones, they are the gemstones of society, and they have really good advice for young people.
You learn as you earn and grow up. Learning to deal with people are one of the most rewarding experiences in this common bond of humanity. Not learning to deal with people causes wars and strife. Also, setting standards, brings about a measure of respect and good relations, not to mention, quality service. Respecting standards encourages great human relations. Finally, if you disagree with something, do it with class and humility, remember there is nothing wrong with humility.
2011©Lisa Marie Bonaparte