Captain’s Log 4,407
Friends. It’s all about friends. I am really blessed to have so many. I learned from a very early age what it takes to build a friendship that means something. Here’s a list. I am sticking to a list format today because it seems the best way to say what I want to say without too many flowers or platitudes. So here we go with some handy-dandy friendship tips.
1. Keep your word. Keep your promises.
2. Don’t toss a friend over the side because something or someone better has come along.
3. Do not tell your friend what to do. There are times when advice comes from a place of deep caring, but it is not always received that way. Unless your friend asks for that advice, keep your mouth shut until you know you have been invited to share your thoughts and ideas. Unsolicited advice unlevels the playing field. You come across as superior because you apparently know what’s best. Don’t do it. I detest having that done to me. Most people do.
4. Treat your friend the way you would want to be treated.
5. Don’t assume. Don’t do it.
6. Learn to love the quiet times that aren’t filled with high conversation or activity. Learn to love the space between those moments.
7. Support their efforts. If they wrote a play, go see it. If they painted a picture, visit the gallery. If they write a regular column for the newspaper or online, read it.
8. Bear witness to their struggles and pain.
9. Listen. Do not wait to speak. Listen.
10. Release your friends with love if the obstacles outweigh the merits.
There are so many more things to say, but I am back in the work saddle again and time is once again limited. Woe. I wish I could have a vacation do-over and get on the plane for Chicago and road trip to Iowa right now. But alas, life has stepped in and asked for this dance. Emails and photos have been exchanged, and I was on Skype with Anneke this morning — but it’s not the same. We aren’t all sitting around enjoying morning coffee in the dew-time of a summer morning. We are thousands of miles away from each other again, creating snippets of experience that move us along the road.
We hiked down a wooded road in Illinois our last afternoon together. Each of us was lost in thought as we thought about how far we had come. More importantly, we pondered how far we can still go. Cherished friends to walk in step with your dreams and ideas, your struggles and your shortcomings. I consider myself very blessed.
Off to face the challenges of my life now. Spending time with my friends brought a lot of things into perspective for me.