Friday, July 13, 2012

Make new friends, keep the old

FORT WORTH, TX, April 6, 2010 - Angels are real. They are all around us. Some of them are the heavenly kind; others are what we refer to here on earth as friends.
I’m talking real friends here, not acquaintances. defines them this way -
Friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
Acquaintance: a person known to one, but not usually a close friend.
A real friend will be there for you through mud, flood, hell, or high water; if not in person then in support.
An acquaintance will wish you well.
A real friend will give you a kick in the behind if you need it.
 An acquaintance won’t care enough to make the effort.
A real friend will lay down his/her life for another without a second thought. This means: putting one’s self out of one’s comfort zone; although it can mean dying for another too.
Family members can be either friend or acquaintance.
In many instances friends offer a lot more real support and love than one’s own family.
Families frequently assign roles to their members. A person is put in a mold and expected to live it throughout life. Fair or not family members often cannot see past who they think you are.
This is one of the reasons it takes real courage to change your life. To go against family is to risk losing your safety net and/or support. Sometimes it’s like cutting off a leg or an arm. When you change your role, it forces their expectations of you to change - and no one likes change.
It goes against human nature.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-family, not by a long shot. I just believe that it’s okay to change with or without your family’s approval. Unfortunately this can also result in losing them, temporarily, or for good.
The angels we call friends see you with fresh eyes. They don’t have the prejudices and blind expectations that family members often have. You get a clean slate when you make a new friend.
Some friendships are cultivated over a number of years. Others are made and grow deep within a short span of time. Some friendships last a lifetime and others, for whatever reason, don’t last long at all.
Real friends encourage, cheer, and have an endless supply of waterproof shoulders for you to cry on. A real friend won’t steer you wrong. They will roll up their sleeves and get down in the dirt with you if necessary.

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Welcome! Here is the first column I sent to my editor this morning. It should be posted today or tomorrow.
I want to state for the record that unless a comment is really ugly and uncalled for I will post them. I don't care if the opinion of someone else differs from my own. I am a firm believer in Freedom of Speech and that everyone has a right to their opinions and to express them.
I also believe we can learn from others no matter how different their life experience is from our own.