>Those Who Can Count and Those Who Can't

>I've decided that there are two categories broad and sweeping enough to fit any human, whether they are aware of the reality of their situation or not. Look into the soul of anybody within eyeshot and you begin to understand precisely what I'm talking about when I shed light on the rather obvious dichotomy presented before us every day of our lives...

The two options are, in layman's terms, the Respecter and the Moocher.

The Respecter does not necessarily like everybody, or even anybody, around him. He doesn't have to have a lot of friends to put himself in this category; it doesn't matter how he dresses or what major he is or where he works or what kind of movie makes him cry, but rather how he approaches human interactions. People don't always understand the true blessing of having Respecters in their lives, but this does not stop him from being who he was made to be in the first place. The Respecter understands (superficially) that what you have is yours, and you have the option of doing what you please with it.

He has probably known what it feels like to have to earn things that you accumulate and therefore approaches interactions with friends and strangers alike with a reserved sense of self-awareness. He gets that you have personal space because he might have issues with that himself; he understands that when people yell when they talk it makes even the most docile of person feel a twinge of hostility running down their cool spine, so he controls the volume of his voice; he knows the feeling of being drowned by a deluge of meaningless words being spewn from one's mouth so he knows that there are times when it is appropriate not to speak. When he asks for a favor, he gives the easier task to the volunteer , while bearing the majority of the load himself, because he knows that effort, as well as time, are things that people prize, and are therefore aspects he must respect. None of these things are a chore for him because it only comes natural. He may not be a people pleaser, but he is a people understander and that makes him a tolerable person to be around.

The Moocher, however, is a completely different story. Unlike the Respecter, he has no concept of the people around him because they all seem superfluous compared to himself, the all-important center of the universe. The Moocher is the one that calls you and instead of greeting you and thanking you for being gracious to pick up the phone yells in your ear "I'm bored, let's do something." Be wary of making Moochers your friends, because they assume that with your friendship comes an open invitation to enter your house, wear your clothes, and eat your food with or without your permission. They will probably do something extreme to get your attention for a while, like undergo a drastic change in dress or undertake a new life-consuming hobby or decide to move on a whim, and then assume that while they were doing the other thing they were doing other than being your shadow you missed them greatly *(but were too scared to call or text or ask somebody where they were, even once)* and will promptly begin back at square one.

The Moocher saps not just money but energy, time, effort, and relationships with people that are not them. Also, if they feel like you are catching onto their game, they will go out of their way to try to feel appreciated, perhaps by saying something like "ok well then I guess I just won't see you for a while" or feigning a momentary crossover into the Respecter category by buying you something innocuous but heartfelt or calling and asking how your day was. Beware of the Moocher's cunning tricks, because they do not make the choice to be a Moocher, they are simply either too lazy or self absorbed to do anything about it.

The Moocher will never recognize his/her position as a Moocher, however. It is for this reason that you must be all the more vigilant in spotting their type and not falling prey to their tactics. The best way to avoiding having all of your life overrun by the likes of the Moocher is simply to live your life as normal when they are around and knowing how to say "no." When they insist on you spending your time on them, tell them that you had other plans. When they insist on you spending your money on them, tell them that you don't have the money to spend right now and when they whine about it, know they'll get over it. Don't leave things laying around you don't want them breaking open. They will understand after a while not having an invitation means they are not invited, and if they wish to receive an invitation they will have to change their ways.

Basically, the point of this whole thing is that we have to learn how to deal with each other. If you recognize yourself as one of these two categories, know that it's not too late to become whichever you see as more appealing, and if reading this makes you think of one or two people in particular, you can understand where they're coming from and start learning how to treat them better. Wow, that was a cheesy ending.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.