Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

STOP calling EVERYONE your friend!

If you are blessed, lucky, and charmed you may be able to count one person as a friend. I was taught as a young man that you don’t really have friends but a great many associates. My parents made sure to let me know how these were different. In elaborating, my father would say, “Son, if you find yourself fortunate you will have a friend in this world.”

What he told me later is that you will not find that you have that friend until some drastic action weaves its way into your world. I was told that these actions would serve to let me know who my friends were really and who my associates were. Of course I thought this was a bunch of crap from a person whose bitter experiences were singing their misery into the ears of my youth. I thought that he knew nothing of my “friends” and they were my boys. Just because his friends turned out to disappoint him was no reason for me to accept or expect the same lot in life. I had friends and we would be friends forever, through thick and thin.

What he didn’t tell me was that I would have to experience the shortcomings of my own judgments and the frailness of the character of most people to know exactly what he was speaking of. This advice was indeed truthful and needed. I learned that everyone is your friend when you have something to give but you are truly lucky if you have ONE when you have nothing to give but yourself and you are in need. You are truly blessed if you can count more than one person when, not if, such shortcomings call your name.

How many “friends” do you really have that would visit you in prison, How many would really give you refuge when you have no other place to turn and no means of gaining resources to secure said place? How many would share their last with you? How many would really tell you the truth about yourself? How many would give because they love you and not expect anything in return?

I suspect that most that read this piece believe they have more than one person that would do one or more of these things for you. They will…in theory, but most will fail in test! Friendships are always eventually symbiotic in nature. The basis of this is never material. Traits that make true friends are never tangible. They are always things that you cannot go into Macy’s and purchase.

That friend is the one that hold’s your hand when you don’t realize you need someone to grasp it. It is that person that tells you, and not the world, that you are screwing up and on the path to a negative destination. It is that person who knows what can hurt you the most but never speaks about it. It is the person that will physically fight you to save your own life. It is that person who gives when you need before you have to ask!

Everyone is your friend at the funeral of your loved one, but who was there when that loved one was sick. Everyone is your greatest and oldest friend when you find success, but who was there encouraging you when others thought you were in over your head? All are friend when you wear Versace and Gucci, but who was shopping at Target and Wal-Mart with you? All of your friends will show up at your premier party, who was there at Denny’s after that show in Palestine, Texas when you played in front of 15 people in the audience?

You see friendship is a true blessing that can only be secured under the extreme pressures of life. Like diamonds, it becomes beautiful under hot and dire circumstances and it is almost indestructible. A friend is a person you disagree with, this tells you that they love you enough to be truthful and they know that your bond is stronger than seeing things differently. The next time you find yourself in a dire situation and there is no publicity to be gained and you have nothing left to give, take a good look around you and all of your associates will be gone…only friends remain.

No comments:

Post a Comment