Life’s Greatest Gift

I’ve learned a lot over the years, 58 so far to be exact, and counting.

A lot of what I’ve learned is much of what I thought I knew, I didn’t know and more so as time goes on.

I could fill a Library with things not to do with or in your life. How to fail at business. Who and what not to put your trust in.

If anyone reading this can relate then sadly, in many instances, I’m “preaching to the Choir.”

But the one thing I know beyond a doubt is the value of real Friendship.

It has been said that if you can count all your real friends on one hand, you are truly blessed. That much, by the Grace of God, I am able to do, and more than one.

However I must hasten to add that in order to have a friend, you must in turn, be a friend. Real friendship is, and always has been, a two way street.

Family is fine, but sadly, I’ve discovered over time, that blood is not necessarily thicker than water.

At the lowest point in your life, Family may or may not come to your aide, but a real Friend always will.

Why? With regards to Family there are any number of reasons. One primary reason may be the simple fact that they can’t get beyond your past to see you for who and what you are now. It isn’t their fault.

Good, bad, or indifferent, they have an impression of you developed from an early age that they’re simply incapable of moving beyond. No matter what you achieve later in life, no matter how much you may have changed, they have a baseline impression that will never disipate. Simple as.

They simply are incapable of moving past, your past.

Plus, unless you’re in constant contact with them, they’ll never see what’s transpired over time.

Family relationships are not something many of us work at. We simply accept them, on both sides. And we are equally unlikely to change our opinions either.

Friendship on the other hand requires constant attention in order to be maintained.

Further, at some point in time your friends have seen you at your worst and you’ve seen them at their worst as well. But as friends, we’re willing to accept those imperfections and at times, even transgressions, and move beyond them.

The difference being these are people we intentionally brought into our lives, not someone who’s been foisted upon us by circumstances of birth.

There was something, in a platonic sense, that attracted you to each other in the first place. And, for that reason, despite imperfections, they are people we want to keep in our lives. So we forgive, and we move on.

So, if you’re willing to take advice from someone who admittedly is far from perfect then here it is.

Make friends early, and treasure them. Treat them like the rarest of gems, because they are, and almost as rare as hen’s teeth. In the end they are worth far more than all the Diamonds or Gold on Earth, they are God’s greatest gift.

May you be as fortunate as I have been in the selection of who you make your family, by choice.

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