You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make ’em fish

Maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me, or maybe it’s just my own stupidity…. I keep trying to help other people and they are either too stupid to accept help or they are willfully ignorant.

I’ve done some stupid things in the past, but I can’t imagine anyone CHOOSING to remain stupid. Every interaction in life is an opportunity to learn something; either we learn how to do something or we learn how NOT to do it. Either way, we have learned something.

But in today’s world, it seems there are soooo many people who are quite happy to stay stuck in their ways, not wanting to do better than before, not wanting to improve themselves. The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind and I suppose if one chooses to remain ignorant, then the saying is true.

One way I spend my time & effort is on the “Mechanic Advice” board on Reddit. It’s a natural outlet for me, since I’m a professional mechanic with over 30 years experience, and I actually like helping others. I’ve built over 3200 “post karma” points, I’ve only had 1 comment downvoted, and I’ve helped fix numerous people with a variety of problems. I’ve fixed many other problems through the phone/internet over the years, and this outlet is just like that, but one level greater because I can pick & choose who I answer based on my own general knowledge and any specific knowledge I may have regarding their vehicles. And to some extent, I’m probably subconsciously stroking my own ego.

Recently one other person commented “Don’t listen to that guy” and then added that having a scan tool wasn’t relevant to solving the original problem that was posted. Really? Having the proper tools to fix a car, especially a scan tool to access the computer, isn’t relevant? OK, good luck to you and your ‘parts shotgun’ approach; my condolences to your wallet. I’ll just drop back into “lurk mode” and watch the situation unfold. Where’s my popcorn?

Another discussion that I stepped in was on Facebook, when a former supervisor of mine had commented in regards to the protestors in Portland “The only response to an insurrection is overwhelming lethal force.” Another mutual friend of ours had originally commented about the protestors and he & I had several back & forth discussion points, ranging from the protestors to the original settlers of this country and throughout all this I tried to impress to him how the mindset of ‘Kill ’em all and let God sort it out‘ hasn’t worked in thousands of years, so why continue with it now? Maybe he’s just too ‘set in his ways‘ to see exactly how wrong he is, or maybe I’m being too idealistic; I’m willing to concede that possibility, though being overly nice usually doesn’t end in murder. And to think so many people think this is ‘winning in ‘Merica’. I’ll sit back again and watch the news unfold.

My own father was a Navy veteran, having volunteered at the tender age of 17. I had asked him once why he signed up and he said “It was the thing to do; everyone was joining, because our country was under attack“. He didn’t talk much about his time in the Navy, but I do know that he spent some time helping move the wounded from Guam to Hawaii and then to San Francisco. I can only imagine how humbling it must have been to see his fellow service men, injured, broken, and completely in need of his help as a “Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class” (a nice way of saying ‘male nurse’). I also know that he did NOT want me (his only son) to join the military, because when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my parents had an open discussion about “What are we to do with Billy if the Vietnam War runs on for another 10 years?“. Their best idea (at the time) was to send me to Canada; but not the best idea overall, since we did not have any family in Canada for me to go to. The overall lesson I learned was the my father had learned how wrong war really is and that he would try to protect his only son from this. When I was 18, my best friend joined the Army and when he asked me to join, I turned him down, citing that I already had a job. But in the back of my mind I had the lesson that I learned from my father.

Thank you dad, for a lesson learned.

About hemibill

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