Early in the day Clint provides a response to the forum thread: (I am thankful at this moment that
he is at least online and not self-destructing way out of reach)
Later that day I get an e-mail from Clint, he has thought things over and is feeling much better.
Hey Kroc, sorry for all the mess I've put you through. I just wanted to let you know that
some people (ironically strangers for the most part) have been chiming on things, and
some of it has gotten me thinking…
Forgive me for putting you through so much. You deserve better from me. After all we’ve
done, all we’ve been through, the memories we share… I pretty much just laid a giant
turd on you out of nowhere. What can I say — I'm an idiot. An emotionally charged idiot
Truth is, I never wanted to hurt anyone. Some twisted logic in my head made me think that
the best way to see to it was to extricate myself from reality. After a bit of wrestling
with untwisted logic from people outside of my head, I feel as though the good in me
doesn’t want to let go. Beaten… bruised… defeated… it just won’t give up.
I guess I have people like you to thank for that. Logic is one way to win a fight. But
there also has to be a catalyst… something to fight for. You are among the people who I
should be fighting for.
There are few people these days that would have the outright honesty and bravery as you
do to not only apologise but to also speak your mind. A lesser man would have rather
walked away from a friendship than face the embarrassment of apologising. It also takes
quite something to tell said friend how he was wrong too; no such situation is truly one
sided. You under value just how accomplished a human being you are.
I have always tried to be straight with you, my own particular mete, which works for some
things but not others. I cannot understand all of your problems no more than you could
understand all of mine. This is why I feel you need more people in your life to cover a
wider range of understanding than just my point-blank approach to everything.
There is only so much pushing that I am personally equipped to take. You pushed so far
this time I gave up, I’m sorry. I’m just glad that there are other people (even
strangers) who are strong enough to push back. When you remove the only tiny channel of
communication I have with you, and then blockade the entrance, there’s little I feel I
can do. I wanted to write you a snail mail letter, but all week I was stressing over the
insurmountable task of sitting down and summing up my thoughts in a way that wouldn’t
just ‘set you off’. Then you write your “follow up” and it knocks me back so much
that I no longer feel like writing to you would even have any effect. I was in shock. I
had to contemplate losing my best friend, and if it wasn’t for my girfriend being in my
life, I would be very ill in bed right now from the stress I have been experiencing.
I want you to know that you don’t have to measure your self-worth by your talent, or
admonishment of lack there of. What you can, can’t, will or won’t do with your hands
is not what has to define you—be it a programmer, web designer or musician—what
matters is your relationships with others. These are the important things in life that
will bring you many benefits, especially when you’re not well. Yours or my talent will
not drag us out of a depression.
I know I have always encouraged you when it comes to working on various projects, I know
you need at least some creative outlet, but these are not replacements for friendships. I
apologise if I have put too much emphasis on projects in the past, it’s something I
will not do again. I’d rather that we better invest the time building our friendship.
Quoting first your forum post:
I guess maybe they believed that the right amount of patronization combined with
a heaping helping of empty encouragement would make me feel better. That isn’t
to say that there weren’t one or two very good letters to which I was more
receptive… but the majority of them just managed to make me angry enough to
reiterate my stance short of consulting the Sailors' Dictionary.
Clint, very very few people are emotionally and intelligently equipped to help others
with deep psychological stresses. Being a good human being is not part of any curriculum,
anywhere. Nobody and nowhere specifically teaches us to be empathetic, loving,
understanding and knowledgeable enough to understand what actions are actually
appropriate in such a situation. Even the field of psychology ends up falling into the
“drugs are the answer” trap because the world, driven by profit, systemises
everything, ironing out any human emotion. It reduces people to processes and tick-boxes.
This world is so obsessed with career and personal success that individuals cruise
through life not doing what really matters and will bring them happiness: educating
themselves in how to be a good human being. The Bible measures personal success in terms
of loving God and loving others, not the love of money, material possessions and status.
These ‘misguided’ responses you got are only people showing genuine care in the
extremely limited fashion that they know of, that they have at their disposal. They may
be very well educated in any other number of fields, but helping others so deeply is an
oft-exercised part of themselves and they’re reduced to a form of desperation, as was
In the end, it was looking to me more and more as though Kroc was digging
himself into a hole he couldn’t get out of. Why? Because of some bandwidth?
Jesus Christ. I don’t care that it takes 10 minutes to get a page to load, or
that I have to make a half-dozen attempts before I can download a file over 2MB.
Not if it means Kroc is going to bring his entire life to a screeching halt and
sell stuff that has sentimental value to him for the sake of me having a
slightly more convenient method of perusing the Web.
Our friendship is not about bits and bytes, it’s about emotion, and for expressive
emotion you need enough bandwidth to express that emotion. I want to get you on
broadband, tried so hard, because I am running out of steam trying to communicate by IM
alone. I want you to experience a more full and expressive me by way of real time audio
and video. I can’t get to know you better by text alone. I didn’t start this donation
drive because “it’s a cool idea”, I started it because you need to be connected to
more people, and I can’t be there to do that in your real life, but I can do something
over the Internet.
I want to sell my stuff because the sentimental value is far outweighed by the value of
our friendship, not the value of some broadband. I have said to others, though I don’t
recall if I’ve said it to you directly, but if I wanted I could just give you the money
for the broadband, the whole donation drive and selling my stuff is because I want to
show you that others, including many strangers, and myself respect you for who you are as
a gentle and creative person and not as charity-case ill man. I want people to see all
the good you are capable of and broadband is a step forward in that regard. Please see
that I have always tried to look beyond the bits and bytes alone, which my blog has
mostly been about lately. I’m not interested in what sites you peruse, but I am
interested in you sharing and outwardly expressing yourself the web.