Hero or Fool

By all appearances, he was at the apex of his career. He was known as a collector of fine arts, a man of unquestionable integrity. He was regarded by many as the epitome of financial success and many watched him to see what his next accomplishment might be.

But then something really bizarre happened. He gave away his collection of fine arts. He liquidated most of his personal assets. He even sold off all of his business interests.

His friends and colleagues were flabbergasted by the man’s sudden change. And his wife and adult children were furious with the loss of their potential inheritance.

When asked why he took such drastic action by a member of the press, he said that he was done with the material world. He said that he was surrounded by greed and unenlightened self-interests that were destroying humanity and the planet, and that he could no longer sit back and quietly or passively condone what was happening all around him. He said it was time to change the orientation of humanity and society from selfishness to compassion. It was time to save the planet.

To that end, he said that he would be donating all of the proceeds from his art collections and the businesses he sold to various charities that would focus on restoring the environment and promoting equality for all citizens of the planet. And then he pledged to reduce his own carbon footprint to zero by living a modest life in solitude in a rustic cabin high atop a hill and deep in the woods.

Some thought of him as a hero. Others thought of him as a fool. But he felt that nobody ever heard his concerns, nobody ever listened. They thought he had his head in the clouds. And it got to the point that he believed being thought of as a fool on a hill with his head in the clouds was better than wallowing around in the muck that surrounded us all.

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (appearance), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (apex) Your Daily Word Prompt (integrity), Ragtag Daily Prompt (watched), Word of the Day Challenge (bizarre), My Vivid Blog (collection), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (orientation).

Truthful Tuesday — Homework

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts. This week Frank wants to know…

Do (or did) you work in a non-traditional work environment (work-at-home, travel, etc.), and do (or did) you enjoy it? If you don’t (or didn’t), do you think you would have liked the opportunity to do so?

I’m retired now. Before I retired at the end of 2016, my job required a lot of travel, so I got used to working away from the office. I would work at a client’s site, in a hotel room, at the airport, or at a coffee shop. Basically wherever I could find a plug for my laptop and a decent WiFi connection.

Back in 2008, the company I worked for, a software and services firm specializing in human resources, payroll, and benefits administration solutions, implemented what it called “home-shoring” to employees in sales and support roles. We could work from home and rarely have to go to the office.

I was fortunate to have a room at my home that I could designate as a home office. The company provided us home-shorers with ergonomic office furniture, a company laptop with a secure, encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN), and a color laser printer. It reimbursed us for a landline and for a smartphone and for our selected internet service provider (ISP) and WiFi connection. And we had all of the software we could ever need, and then some. Basically everything we needed to do our jobs as effectively from home as we did from the office was provided.

Did I enjoy working from home? You bet your sweet bippy I did. What was there not to love? My commute was a few seconds. I could work in my pajamas if I wanted to. I could have my conference calls with team members and with clients and prospects, participate video calls and conduct product demos and training via WebEx (a behind-the-firewall, Zoom-Like video conferencing app). There was nothing that I couldn’t do from my home office that I could do at my work office.

Between 2008 and 2016, when I retired, I would periodically get calls from headhunters about other job opportunities. My first question that I would ask these recruiters was, “Could I work from home full-time?” If their answer was no, my answer to them was also no.

So, bottom line, I absolutely loved working in what Frank calls a “non-traditional work environment.”

My Last Photo — January ‘22

Brian, aka Bushboy, posted his monthly Last on the Card prompt, where he asks us to…

  • Post the last photo from your camera’s SD card or the last photo from your phone taken in January.
  • No editing — who cares if it is out of focus, not framed as you would like, or the subject matter didn’t cooperate?
  • No explanations needed — just the photo will do.
  • Create a pingback to Brian’s post or link in the comments.
  • Tag “The Last Photo.”

So here’s the last photo I took on my iPhone in January.

These are the bags of groceries that were delivered right to my doorstep yesterday at around noon. Thank you Whole Foods Market.

#WDYS — Three Young Men

Three young men in the hood
Standing next to the curb
Laughing, joking, carrying on
Not bothering a soul

Then someone called 9-1-1
Claiming there was a disturbance
The cops rolled in, guns in hand
“Stop, hands up,” the cops yelled

The three men started running
The crack of a gunshot rang out
One of the three young men
Lay dead in the street

Three young men in the hood
Standing next to the curb
Laughing, joking, carrying on
Not bothering a soul

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Jed Villigo @ Unsplash

Fandango’s Story Starter #31

It’s time for my weekly Story Starter prompt. Here’s how it works. Every Tuesday morning (my time), I’m going to give you an incomplete “teaser” sentence and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a story (prose or poetry) around that partial sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence in your story, and you don’t even have to use it in your post at all if you don’t want to. The purpose of the teaser is simply to spark your imagination and to get your storytelling juices flowing.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

I didn’t think that what I did that night was that bad until…

If you care to write and post a story built from this teaser, be sure to link back to this post and to tag your post with #FSS. I would also encourage you to read and enjoy what your fellow bloggers do with their stories.

And most of all, have fun.