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[DomLuka] Dennis' advice

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There's a quote from The Long Way that got my attention. It was in the last chapter, when Dennis was talking to Owen. He said the following to Owen:


"I mean, you’re only as good as the people who choose to care about you, Dovan. If there’s any truth in that, I say you’re better off without them."


What exactly did he, or did Dom, mean by that? "You're only as good as the people who choose to care about you." I asked some of my real life friends this, and I got some interesting feedback.


Two friends agreed that Dennis was wrong. Why would you rate how good of a person you are by those around you? You can have some pretty crappy parents, but that doesn't necesarily make you a horrible person. This was their argument. But I had argued back that perhaps it's not the fact that the people are around you, but rather that you let yourself stay near them. If they're such bad people, then you should get rid of them, right? Even if they are your parents (as horrible and difficult as that may be).


Another friend had agreed somewhat to Dennis, saying that the bigger number of people there are that actually care about you, the better you are. It sounded like the person was saying something like, the more friends you have, the better you are. Which I also disagree with; I don't really think it comes to a matter of "how many friends you have", but rather "how well they like you and to what ends they would go to protect you".


Personally, I thought it meant something more like... If the people in your life are all people that care greatly about you, and have a good influence on you, and love you, then you're a better person because of it. You're better because not only are you surrounding yourself in a good environment, but you also got rid of those that did some sort of harm to you. You had the sense to not let those "bad" people get to you. I know that, if I were Owen, I think I'd be a better person by finding a way to leave my parents; they'd be a bad influence, and I wouldn't want that in my life. Of course, this sort of ordeal is both heartbreaking and difficult to deal with, but that's why it makes you all the while stronger for being able to fix the problem.


I don't know, something about what Dennis said just got to me, and I'd like to know what Dom meant by it. Any other feedback would be appreciated :) I ask you all because my real life friends have never read this story, and I think they may have different opinions if they had read it.

Edited by Hawke
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I agree with you somewhat, and with one of your friends in another. I feel that we all have a choice as to whom we have around us in our life...I myself just cut my circle of friends in half. I saw a lot of them for who they really were...they were negative, always cutting people down behind their backs (including me behind mine.) I know that I didn't feel my life was heading in the right direction then...I know that is a little off topic, but yeah. I feel that if you surround yourself with people that are positive and truly care for you, you will be happier for it, and thus a better person...

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I think it's just a variation on the old funeral argument, you know, that a person's life can be evaluated by the (not necessarily quantity but quality of) people who show up to mourn that person at their funeral. It's basically stating that nobody lives in a vacuum; that you're only as good as the good you choose to do in the world, and the positive impact you choose to make on the people around you.

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Dennis is smart, I guess he would have a reason to say that to Owen because I think that Dennis actually cares about him even if he doesn't show it in the proper way, just the way that he always has with a biting remark. That, to me, was his way of telling Owen THANK YOU and YOU'RE A FRIEND. :boy:


Yeah, Dennis isn't exactly a straightforward communicator...


For example, instead of saying, "Travis, I think we should go steady and exclusive" he says..."Travis. While you

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Yeah, Dennis isn't exactly a straightforward communicator...


For example, instead of saying, "Travis, I think we should go steady and exclusive" he says..."Travis. While you're not kissing Aiden, don't kiss anyone else, either."


And good analogy Cynical Romantic :D



i'm really hoping that something will happen to dennis and make him realize that he is in fact in love with travis in some form or another. more so that i would like the relationship(?) to turn and go in the direction that i think all of us want it to.


and what can i say, i 'yam' what i 'yam'. lol :lol:

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You're only as good as the people who choose to care about you.


Definitely a good line, and one that I personally agree with. Like the aforementioned funeral comment, there's always the "you can judge a person by his friends" or what sounds like the opposite, "you can judge a person by his enemies."


I've always been the sort to make a few, lasting friendships as opposed to many thin friendships that don't really last for any length of time. So in my life, the people who choose to care about me? I think I'd like what that says about me.

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  • 3 months later...

It's a statement of cause AND effect.


My take is that we may start out in a bad situation, with bad people cultivating us. But if there is a reason to be a good person, to make yourself into a good man for someone or for something, then we'll try and change. It also depends on how badly we want to be good for them, lest we lose them or realize that they'd be better off without us. We'd maybe go so far as to shun our bad influences... those that we prefer less. We can be pulled into 'goodness'. If we lose them for being bad, or pushed away for being unwilling to change, then the effect is that THEY are still around good people... it just means that excludes us.

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