Sometimes it’s not about getting something in return


A few weeks ago I exchanged emails with a friend whom I have not met for a long time and asked him out for lunch to catch up. Perhaps he has been in situations before where friends call him up to ask him for something. His guard was immediately up when he replied my mail. When we finally met up for lunch, he was defensive and deliberately vague during our conversation and that pretty much spoilt my day. I don’t think I’ll call him up for a get-together again anytime soon. Look, I wasn’t about to sell him anything, and I wasn’t thinking of getting anything out of him other than just a nice chat about what’s happening with him and our old bunch of friends. So was it me? Was it something I said? I’m not sure. Or maybe is it that I’m normally not so outgoing — that when I do get round attempting to socialize more, my feeble attempts are looked at with suspicion?

It also irked me that when I attempt to promote some of the free software I wrote I’m also looked at with suspicion and doubt. I write software because I like writing software, the way I used to write short stories and essays because I simply like to write. It’s a form of self-expression. I consider writing software to be an art form where I create something where there was none before. I promote my software because like most ‘artists’, I like to show off my work and let people enjoy it. I don’t write software because I hope to gain commercially from it — I have a day job. Of course, like most peopleagain, I would like to earn a living doing what I love to do but I consider that I’m well off enough in my work in Welcome that I can write software without caring for any commercialization of it whatsoever.

So sometimes it’s not about getting something in return. Just by doing it is the reward. Just catching up with old friends, and just doing what I love to do is enough. There isn’t any need to read something more to it than there is.

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