Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Self interest trumps altruism.

Some readers may recall the sagas of my encounters with my (ahem)  "somewhat difficult" neighbour.

She is the one we found at 5:00 a.m. back on May 14th, flat on the ground and hallucinating wildly, in  a neighbours driveway.

She went off to the hospital and I went off to the United Kingdom.

Upon my return I called one of her brothers, a good and wise retired Judge from Michigan.  He told me that she had been moved into a nursing home in Venice FL and asked me to visit her.

That I did (for his sake), and found her to be in good spirits and in improving health.  She asked my to retrieve her mail.  I did so, and after boxing it  up, I posted it to her.

(Of course I  had not entered her villa alone - the President of our Condo. Assoc. came with me (wise as serpents, innocents as doves?)

Last week another of her  brothers called and asked me to visit her again, That I did last Saturday (for his sake).  She was even more chipper, and professed to be enjoying her life in the nursing home.

I mentioned the large amounts of opened foodstuffs spread about her kitchen and bedroom which I had noticed on my first visit to her villa, and asked her permission to do a clean up. It's not that I am a good guy, but I  share a common wall with my neighbour,  and (with previous experience in mind) I feared an infestation of rats

She gave oral permission (but ever wary) I also e-mailed her brother the Judge to ask for his written (e-mail) permission.  He granted that readily.

.Today I went into the Villa. Once again, to be wise I took a neighbour with me (a fabulous practicing Roman Catholic Christian.

Here is what I e-mailed to the Judge later this afternoon:

Hello .....
My good neighbour K.  and I went into E's Villa today.
We filled three large trash bags with spoiled and about to be spoiled food, and already opened boxes of food etc   ------   from the kitchen, from her bedroom and from the fridge.
We disposed of items such as unopened milk cartons (from meal on wheels), eggs,  and other items which were well past their by sale date. 
We also emptied out ashtrays, and threw out empty cigarette packs, together with used (but not soiled) bed and wheel chair urine pads.
K cleaned out some remnants of food and grease in the kitchen sink.
There were no signs of insects or rodents, nor were there any unpleasant odours..
Best to you, L and S.
Christian preachers such as I often make our appeal to the altruism of our congregants.  That's all well, good, gospel centred  and important.
But none of us are altruistic all of the time,
I cannot speak for K (she is a noble Christian) but when she said "you are very good to do this Michael"  I replied "Not at all, I am acting out of utter self interest, this is not a matter of goodness".
That was the truth.   It is against my interests to risk an infestation of bugs of rodents from "right next door".
And it felt very good to do this clean up in the company of my neighbour K who is both good and gracious.

No comments:

Post a Comment