Recent events have inspired me to write one of my all-too-infrequent posts. First, my family suffered a terrible loss. Second, I have heard from many old friends in anticipation of my 45th year high school reunion. And third, I reconnected with a friend I have not seen in several years. These have caused me to reflect on the meaning and importance of friendship and of the consequences of the choices we make. I believe that what you are at this moment in time is the sum total of the choices you have made and the quality of your relationships.
In a time of dark personal tragedy, I found that my true friends were and are my comfort, my light, and my shield, while others I thought were my friends retreated into the shadows. True friends give, they don’t take. They share, they don’t covet. They reach out, they don’t withdraw. They love you even when you don’t have your make-up on (no, I don’t wear make-up, but you get the idea). One of my true friends recently posted on Facebook that life is like riding on an elevator. On the way to the top, you have to let some people off. I know of what she speaks. However, that’s not the entire ride. When those elevator doors open, other people also get on. That’s one of the choices we all make…who to let on the elevator.
With my reunion coming up, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with some friends I’ve known since grade school (Facebook is great for this, I have discovered). Old friends are your historians. They remind you of who you were. They are the foundation upon which your life is built. I can’t wait to see them, gray hair (if any) and all.
Your present friends are your conscience. They reflect who you are. They accept you for who you are but let you know when you are heading off course. They laugh with you, cry with you, eat with you, drink with you, and share secrets, or at least a cigar, with you.
Your future friends are your hope. They are a window into what you will become. They may be very different from your old and present friends, but they will join your circle and fit right in. You won’t know who those new friends are until you let them onto the elevator. Choose wisely and you will be richer for it.