A very good friend of mine (thank you Linda) sent me this wonderful teaching moment and being the soft hearted grateful fool that I am who treasures all the friends that have been part of my life, I want to share:
A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch with his father on a hot, humid day; sipping ice tea with his father. As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his son.
“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as you get older. Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them …”
“What strange advice!” Thought the young man. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.”
Yet he obeyed his father; kept in touch with his friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father knew what he was talking about. In as much as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends were the bulwarks of his life. After 60 years of life, here is what he learned:
- Time passes.
- Life goes on.
- The distance separates.
- Children grow up.
- Children cease to be children and become independent. And to the parents, it breaks their heart but the children are separated of the parents.
- Jobs come and go.
- Illusions, desires, attraction, sex … weaken.
- People do not do what they should do.
- The heart breaks.
- The parents die.
- Colleagues forget the favors.
- The races are over.
But, true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles away they are. A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or blessing your life. When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, but keep a group of good friends. Dialogue with them but do not impose your criteria. They help make sense of your life.