John, you are so on point with all of this. I am now realizing that his morality system, that I found flawed and compromised, was probably actually pretty damn decent given his level of affluence. It’s like this big aha! moment for me.
He was involved in things that I quite honestly found revolting (I’m going to write about it and I am guessing anyone affluent enough to have an I phone or other tech is also going to find it revolting too, so that’s going to be almost everyone on Medium.)
But when I would ask him, “oh my God! Why are you involved in this low life stuff!” He would act like, I was the one who was tripping! He didn’t see anything wrong with what he was doing. He was baffled by my outrage.
I grew up in the hood (urban black America) and I was what is known as “hood rich” — which is just average for pretty much the rest of America. He was hood middle, which is American poor…but for the hood, he had options. He could make moves.
Looking back, I see now that he was trying his hand at social climbing. He wanted to be hood rich and so with me, he was scoping out the hood rich landscape.
I, on the other hand wanted out of the hood entirely. I wanted to move into upper middle America. I guess we all want the next level.
I made it…it aint all that. What I discovered, much to my disgust, is that it’s all pretty much the hood…people are always using people and punking people and conning people.
The hood is just the most basic level of this…at least here in America.
Men always say, he didn’t think he was good enough for you, that’s why he let you go. I never could really understand that, because clearly I am not all that.
But there must be some truth to it, because the last time I ever saw him, he said, “go, just go…because I could never give you what you want.”
I had no idea what he was even talking about, but I guess he knew me better than I knew myself, because what I did not want was the kind of life he ended up pursuing.
He was a stand up guy, who did some morally compromising things…but as you point out, so might you or so might I if we were dealt a different life hand.