Sunday, August 19, 2012
Hope From the Dead
Hope From the Dead
We quit the multilevel business shortly after we bought the house. We were simply too successful
to continue. We had gone to a seminar and someone was on stage. He was bestowing words of
wisdom on an eager crowd. What he said was unexpected. I had spent so long hoping that this was the
answer. But of course you cannot peddle dreams with no substance forever. And this man with the
expensive suit and hand made Italian loafers let it slip, the truth. I am sure he did not mean what he said
to be taken so perfectly literal. I tend towards taking people at their word. He said we had three years.
That was all. Three years to get everything we could out of our new recruits. He said by that time they
will have either made it or they will have been tapped out financially. He was urging us to make haste.
It was a cut and run kind of thing. And I was out. Any pretense I had left of this being the answer, of
ever getting wealthy "helping other people" reach their goals faded in that moment. The realization of
what we had done hit me hard. I became sad and melancholy. All those "dream stealers" had been
right. It was not real. I wrote the letter as soon as we got back home. We resigned our business. I did
not ask my husband, or even tell him until after it was done. Then I called my downline and lastly my
upline. I delivered the death notice. I was so sorry, for all the encouragement I had given. For cards
sent and plans made. With people who were never going to have anything but empty bank accounts to
show for their having faith. Faith in a business designed to shake the money out of their pockets while
filling their heads with visions of success. I was very honest. I could not stop apologizing. I did what I
could for those left standing and I helped others bury their dreams. There were funerals for hopes and
for bright futures gone too soon. Most shook their heads and moved on with their lives. Shuffling past
the casket fashioned out of a soap box. Some refused to let go. I understood that. I knew what it meant
to them, to have hope. The need to believe was stronger than truth. I got it, and I sent them past me to
my upline and wished them well. But I did not tell them that they could do it. I did not lie. The time for
that had long gone. I did not know then what dire straights our upline was in. They were far more
successful then us and thusly, far more broke. Actually, broke would have been an upgrade. They lost
their house, the fancy cars. And then the tax man came calling. They left the area. Started up
somewhere else. I hear of them now and again, and I wonder at their tenacity. I am too black and white
to live in so much grey.
My counselor said I had an overdeveloped sense of right and wrong. That it had come from my child
hood. That I held myself to higher standard. I begged to differ. I could look back and see so many
times I could have done better. I should have done more. She tried to soothe me with facts. I pushed
back with my own. It was a tug of war that I hoped she won, but that I could not throw. She was going
to have to find a way to convince me that I was not a bad person. I mourned every missed payment.
Every bill unpaid brought me low. They were lined up on the kitchen counter, all my personal failures.
I did not know how I was going to fix it now. I let go of one dream and cast around for another. I
wanted to be reliable. To be trustworthy. To be good. I would build up new hope. I would figure this
out. I had to. I had been through too much, I was tough, I was strong and I would get through this.
There were worse things. People had it worse than me. I should be grateful. The dialog went around
and around in my head. Until I convinced myself. It could be done. God was with me. There was
always an answer. I just had to find it. It was fitting that it came in an obituary. I read the paper
everyday and poured over all the words. I was a reader and a news junkie to boot. I NEEDED to know
what was going on. What was real. So, I turned the pages of the newsprint taking it all in and sending
little prayers up for the family who had a car accident. The fire in the next town over and lastly, to
round out my missives to God, I laid out the obits. I read each one. I favored ones with pictures though.
I liked to see who this person had been. What their face said about their soul and if they had kind eyes.
There was a man in there, smiling up at me. He had had a long life filled with a loving wife and
children. He had a multitude of blessings and I said a thankful prayer for this man and prayed peace on
his family and I ached for what he had that I did not. And I reminded myself of the lesson his life was.
It could be done.
He had done it. If it was possible for him to have a loving family, a good marriage, a prosperous life,
then I could have it too. I read all I could on this man. He had been somebody and his life was well
known. I set him as my example and I went about changing my life again with a new found hope left
for me by that dead man.
Posted by Chele at 10:04 AM