Monday, January 21, 2008

A Friend Indeed

I have many acquaintances, and I have no problem meeting people anywhere I go. I find it easy to be around a lot of people when I want company, even those I don't know. I am a people watcher too. I love to watch people interacting with each other. It's an occasional and enjoyable pastime. I am often thought to be quiet or reserved simply because I am "watching and listening". I sometimes like to keep quiet when people are talking in my presence. I learn more about people that way.

I don't make true friends easily - by choice. I am simply too unwilling to place myself in such a vulnerable position. The people I call friends have loved me through the years, no matter what I do, or where I go. They simply love me for who I am. And it is returned in the same fashion. Very few are willing to make such a commitment to friendship.

It isn't often I meet someone who sparks my interest in such a way. I can count on one hand the true friends I have, and know I will have, until I die. To me, a true and loyal friend is far more valuable than hundreds of acquaintances.

We often meet new people by what seems to be an accident. But God often places us in a situation where someone has a chance to come into your life who seems to belong there. There's an unspoken knowledge that you'd agree on most any subject. And you find yourself telling that person stories of your life that you'd long forgotten.

I no longer ask why, or question when this happens. God knows, and He will reveal His purpose eventually. To me, it's like walking the beaches of the world for years. One day you stop to pick up a bright object and find a precious jewel. Why did you find it here, and why now? All that really matters is you found it.

This happened to me recently, and when attempting to explain who he was/is to me, at the core, he sent me the profoundly inspiring verse printed below. I had never read this before, a poem written by Rudyard Kipling to his son Jack.

If you understand what it says, you'll smile as I did, at knowing someone who also can see the value of Kipling's words.

This verse is written from a father to his son, but it applies to all relationships and all walks of life. It speaks of one's individual integrity and my favorite saying, "harm no one". In our individual life's endeavors, we often fail at this advice. But it is the attempt that makes God smile upon us.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Author: Rudyard Kipling

Here's to good and true friends.

Ride long, ride free.

1 comment:

Shirley Vandever said...

It's been years since I've read Kipling ... I've got to get back.

This poem came at just the right time for me. Thanks for posting it, my friend.