I had a patient who failed to take my advice when she felt that she needed to “buyÂ the friendship” ofÂ her teenaged son. She bought him everything that he demanded in hope that he would thenÂ love her in return. This is called poor parenting. Only afterÂ years ofÂ heartache and tons of unrequited love later, did she come to me and say, “I should have listened to you years ago.” Now, irreparable damage had been done and she found herself not only estranged from him spiritually, but virtually unable to heal that tear. Her son has been in and out of trouble with the law, mostly in. A sad, sad situation indeed.
Growing up in north Wapato, where racial tension was a part of everyday life,Â you learn very early that you can’t –and shouldn’t–buy friendships. This is tantamount to agreeing to pay the kidnapper in a hostage situation.Â The paymentsÂ never end and friends that need to be bought are never friends at all.
The United States government should also have learned this lesson a long time ago. Somewhere in the past, we decided to turn bonified national help into “Let’s give them some money and see if they will like us” politics. We keep pouring money into countries that do not respect our values and fail to reciprocate a friendship that should be going both ways. That’s what true “friendships” are all about, whether they are on the personal or national level.
Usama bin Laden was living in a downtown city in Pakistan and not in the mountainousÂ caves as we were all led to believe. Seems that our $3.8 billion, that could have been going to provide health care to the nation’s elderly and poor, wasn’t enough money to ensure true friendshipsÂ with the Pakistani leaders. No big surprise. As I said before, you can’t buy friendship.