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The Cost of Honesty

Here I am again on a wonderful, cool evening, but, perhaps, not quite as optimistic as I usually am. Though this situation I detailed a little in the summary doesn't bother me most of the time, it does a little when I look at it. IN fact, going through the emails exchanged has given me a perspective on some things that, perhaps, I could have done better, so I'll go through them here.

The first message from the friend.

I'm not going to reveal this individuals name, nor will I post their emails. If the individual gives me permission I may, but I'll simply leave it as a friend for now. I'll have notes along with what was said on both sides.

The email exchange began on Sunday, November 15, at 06:47 PM with a perspective my friend sent me from another individual. In this message was detailed how this person loved the Pyramid Scheme video, and that changing the minds of people isn't a job either of them should do, which I can agree with. This person also stated that some don't want to be convinced to change their mind, which I can also agree with. However, I'd say that there's a difference between changing a mind and adequate research, along with a modicum of common sense. I'll go a bit into why this is important later.

This person went on to state that they were glad my friend was having positive conversations with another individual, who had apparently mellowed a bit from some previous conversations, that's how I gather that, at any rate. This other person had apparently become more supportive, which this person thought was great.

Comparing leading with product or opportunity was then brought up and good points were stated for each. Leading with product, which refers to having passion about a product you yourself own and use was said to be a great thing, and I can agree with that. There are definitely good things about that method, as you can introduce your knowledge on a product, but you don't want to push it on anyone, either.

Leading with opportunity was then talked about, stating that it was important to do to take advantage of Amway's compensation system, which involves you receiving compensation for those whom you can get to join under you, or something to that effect. You can check that out at the Amway Wiki, though I don't recommend Amway, and I'll go into why a bit later. It was then said that approaching those who express interest in that is wise, rather than trying to give the opportunity to others. This, I can agree with, and I could also agree with the fact that presenting the opportunity of Amway to those who are receptive to it could provide you with advantages, but anyone who either isn't receptive or chooses to research things a little deeper wouldn't want to join, and thus, you wouldn't get the advantages of the system.

Losing passion was also touched upon, and it was said that it happens. I know this from personal experiences. Passions come and go for me in programming, my Christian walk, etc, so that's fairly normal, I'd say.

It was also mentioned that Amway is meant to be something you do on the side, along with what you're doing for a living. Apparently, it's not meant to be a full time job or anything of the sort, which given the prices of products and other such things, along with the membership cost, etc, I could understand that.

My friend was advised that balancing interests would help to keep Amway fresh and exciting, which I have no doubt about. In my opinion, it's wanted to keep it fresh and exciting so you'll stay hooked into the system, which I'll detail a bit shortly.

The person who'd sent my friend a message then wrapped up his message and my friend wrote, telling me that it was comforting to know that others also lost and gained passion in things. I can understand that, as it can be comforting to go through things with another. My friend asked me if I'd ever lost passion in things stating that it was doubted as I'd seem to stick with things, unlike what my friend stated, that in and out of things is what my friend tends to do, accept for sticking with Amway and a passion for music.

My friend also wondered why it seemed to be a trend for people to drop out of things they get into, though I failed to address this in my message. It was also stated that my friend has slipped in their walk with God, which is perfectly normal. I've done that as well. The message then came to an end.

The second message, from me.

Since I wrote this, I'll quote it directly as it's not a problem. It was sent on Monday, November 16, 2015 at 02:17 AM, I was up early that morning. I'll be stating notes between paragraphs if necessary.

Hi,
I've had passion in Christianity and dropped out as well, so I'd say that's pretty normal. I can't immediately recall anything else I've had and lost interest in at the moment, but even so, with all the articles you've given me and such, I still think Amway is dishonest and a model of supposed business you don't want to be involved in. I'd still recommend you find a job for yourself and not be involved in anything like Amway. A job will be better and you'll actually make money from it, and will be paid for the work you do. Also, you'll be totally honest with folks, which is always a plus.

Blake

Some things to note. As I stated before, I failed to address the issue of the trend of people getting into things and dropping out. I focused on Amway and how I believe it to be dishonest, and didn't address that other issue. As far as people getting into things and dropping out goes, I believe they do so because they find something that looks good on the surface, get into it, find out it's not what they thought and doesn't meet their expectations, then leave it.

When I stated that my friend would actually make money with a job rather than using Amway, I was correct in that statement based on him telling me that, in actuality, when my friend looked into the financial situation, told me that the money received was very little when factoring in costs of various things, all of which I don't recall.

From my own opinion, I do believe Amway is a dishonest system. They claim that you're an independent business owner. In actuality, you depend on them for your products, the billing system, the site you have through them which is a generic thing that's simply re-branded for each person based on their name and perhaps a few other pieces of information. After all, your supposed independent business is powered by Amway, so when Amway falls, your business falls. It would seem that it's not independent after all, that, in fact, it depends on Amway for its operation. A true independent business isn't going to depend on this single system for its operation, but can diversify and move to other systems if one fails, and in my opinion, a good business model would be to have many such things available and standing bye, especially in the area of marketing and sails.

The dishonesty to others comes in when you tell them the business you have is your business. It isn't yours, it's Amway all the way through and through. In the sense that you own a business license it's yours, but everything else is Amway, so that's not being honest.

When I told my friend he'd be paid for the work done at a job, perhaps I didn't clarify that completely. When my friend is marketing and communicating with people, that isn't the way money is made with an Amway powered business. The money is made through sails, getting people to become their own supposed independent business owners under you and earning commissions from their sails. It's a handy system that tries to encourage promotion, participation, dependence on them, and gaining new members. In a job where you work for a business, however, you're paid for all that you do at a flat rate, unless the job is based off of how much you sell, or in assembly, how much work you're able to do. Other than those, and perhaps other exceptions I'm not aware of, you're generally paid at a flat rate that's reliable.

In hindsight, I focused on Amway perhaps a bit too much, and while I have strong feelings about it, perhaps stating what I did in the manor I did wasn't the wisest course of action. However, what's done is done and can't be changed. I also believe that I didn't explain things quite as well as I could have, though don't know if doing so would have made much of a difference.

The Third message, from my friend.

This message was sent on the same day at 03:20 AM. In it, my friend told me in a terse manor I interpreted to be angry, that it didn't matter what I thought. Looking back at these messages, I then wonder why my friend asked me what I thought of things, and has asked for my opinion of Amway and various subjects before. Perhaps, at that time, my friend simply referred to my thoughts on Amway and didn't care what I thought at that time. However, the manner in which the message was stated didn't appear to be apathetic, so I didn't actually believe that my friend didn't care as was stated.

The fourth message, from me.

This was written on the same day at 7:16 AM, by me. It took me a few hours of thought to come to the decision to write this, and for a while, I didn't know if I would.

Hi,
You have told me before in the past that you do care what I think, so I take your terse and harsh reaction as an impulsive and angry one, which further proves that you do, in fact, care about what I think on some level or another. I consider you a friend, and if any friend of mine is doing something I perceive might not be in their best interests, I'm going to help them in the only way I know how, I hope you'd do the same with your friends.

I still believe this one to be true. After all, if my friend didn't actually care about what I thought, why the harsh and angry response? On some level, my friend does care or the terse, angry reaction would have been a truly apathetic response that proved my friend really didn't care.

Also, I do believe Amway isn't a good thing to be involved in. I'm concerned for my friend being involved in such a thing, because I believe it's dishonest and I'd never advise anyone to take part in anything dishonest. If someone is, I'd want to help them by pointing out what I think and what my opinion is on the matter. It's up to them where to take it after that.

You are, of course, free to cut contact with me, and while it may bother me initially, it will only further serve to re-enforce that, on some level or another, you care about what I think. Any reaction but apathy would prove that, even the harshest, most hateful and hurtful reaction you could give me.

I tell you what I tell you because I care about you as a person, and while you may dislike certain things I may say, I don't say them out of any desire but that of wanting to help you.

I never want to be cruel in any way, only offer things that I think and believe to help someone. Despite everything that happened, even this far into the messages, I still believed that, and wanted to help. I also wanted to be polite and leave options open, and try and make it clear that my friend was free to make any choice desired, so I presented the option of cutting contact even though it was already there, though I made the unsaid option said.

I hope I've not misinterpreted your reaction in any way, and I hope you're still willing to contact me in the future.

Blake

I wanted to make sure I hadn't actually taken the reaction posted the wrong way. Perhaps I should have posted that first before the rest of it, and stated what I believed to be my interpretation of the message before the rest of it. Other than that reordering, though, I can't imagine much of a difference I could have made to that message.

The fifth message, from my friend.

This was written on the same day at 12:49 PM. It was very short and to the point, with the F word stated twice. My friend would make any decision desired, and forget me. That's stating it kindly.

The sixth message, from me.

I had a little over two hours to think of what to write back to my friend as a response, and sent this one at 03:13 PM.

Hi,
I never meant to give you orders and commands, and tell you what you must do, to be sure. I'm in perfect agreement with you. All people are free to do anything they desire, including yourself. I only give my recommendations, suggestions, and opinions, which you've told me before you were glad I did.

Given the tone of my friend's previous messages, I wanted to be clear that I was giving recommendations, suggestions, and opinions only. I certainly wasn't commanding my friend and giving him instructions or any kind of directions on what to do. My friend seemed to disagree, though, at least that's what the messages seemed to indicate.

You've certainly made my day a little interesting and different, so thanks for that, I appreciate it!

No reason to be rude, and it was true. These types of messages I don't receive every day. It gave me something to ponder, I worried about it, I decided what to do in relation to it, then I proceeded. It was a little interesting even if it was also nerve racking. Besides, it never hurts to thank people, and after getting over my initial worry, I laughed a bit at the message my friend had sent with the F word, which still seems quite silly to me. I didn't mention that to my friend, though, but I did think about it.

I'm curious, from the tone of your email, it sounds like you may not wish me to send you messages anymore. Could you let me know if you still want me to email you or not? If you don't want me to email you, then I shall never again send you an email, and will take that seriously, and will never send you another email message regardless of weather you send me messages. I must, as a Christian, keep my word and be honest, so please let me know what you'd like from me.

If you choose to respond and let me know, could you please use clear language that isn't cursing so both of us are absolutely clear on the meaning of your message, weather or not I should continue to email you. If you choose to respond in a way that may not be entirely clear, I'm very likely to interpret it how I understand it, which may not be how you understand it.

Thanks,
Blake

I'd left other methods of contact open should my friend choose to have me never send another message again through email, but I also wanted to make it clear that whatever my friend wanted from me, I would do, as I did state for my friend to let me know what was desired for me to do regarding contact, or lack of contact.

I think I wrote that message to my friend pretty well, and can't think of anything I could have changed in that message.

The final message, from my friend.

This was written at 6:07 PM, and I'm glad he didn't curse in the message. He honored what I asked of him, for which I'm appreciative. The message did make me sad, though, until I prayed and gave the situation over to God, who took it and my worries left. Even so, I still do feel some sadness and loss, though not nearly as much as I did after first receiving the message.

My friend made it clear that I'm not to contact in any way, and that hearing from me in any manner is not desired. In fact, my friend stated that my email was removed from contacts, along with my Skype, which I don't use often anyhow. My friend also stated I wasn't incorrect about the tone of the message sent, which I gather was referring to the message sent before this one.

The message I would have sent.

If I'd been permitted to send a final message, this is probably how it would have gone, and would probably have been sent a few minutes after the final message.

Hi,
I'm rather sad that we're parting ways like this, and that you don't want to hear from me in any manner ever again. I also think it's unfortunate that you seemed to see my suggestions, recommendations, opinions, and advice as more than the thoughts of me, but as things I demand you follow, at least, that's how things came across.

I will, however, honor what you told me, as I'd previously asked you to clarify what you wanted from me. I appreciate you being clear and not cursing, so both of us understand the message completely. I will never contact you again. If you contact me, just as you desired, I will not contact you since you told me you didn't want to hear from me again in any manner. That is unfortunate, but once again, I shall stick to my word and do as you desired me to do.

I hope your days go well, and I'll pray for you.

Blake

Final notes.

In my opinion, my friend was acting irrationally, angrily, and with great hostility even though I made it clear I was only trying to help in the only way I know how, and that, being my friend, I would desire to help, and would do so. I thought I was being as honest as I could be based on what I believe and what my opinions are, and thought I was making that clear. My friend seemed to take what I said as things that should be done, which isn't at all how I intended it to be.

I've become more assertive and confident in my Christian walk, and in standing up for honesty and integrity both within myself and as my opinions to others. This is where following Christ has led me. A lost friendship. Jesus Christ tells us to count the cost before following him, and though I didn't end a friendship, my friend made that choice. I still think it's sad, and even more so since, by the admission, I shouldn't even contact my friend if I'm contacted, as my friend stated that wasn't desired in any way. I took that seriously as I said I would, and won't reach out to my friend in any manner under any circumstance. That's what was wanted of me, apparently, but it isn't something I'll enjoy. That, however, is the consequence of the words written to me.

I hope I've not misrepresented the position of my friend, or the individual who's message my friend sent to me. I'm open to any corrections and will revise things if needed.

As I always am, I'm open to any thoughts or opinions by anyone, even rude ones. It will make my day interesting, even if there's some discomfort to go along with it. Don't abuse the comments system, though.

I hope this has given some people something interesting to think about, I've certainly thought about it in writing this, though wanted to get it out there. I felt it's something I ought to do, though can't exactly explain why.

Enjoy your days, everyone, and think hard before committing yourself to following Christ and turning from your sin, but even so, I recommend it as it is true.

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