Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fifth of 8 F's - Friends

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~Albert Schweitzer
Friends rekindle the inner spirit. Friends are there for you when the times are good and bad. Friends encourage you to be the best you can be. Elbert Hubbard (in his book "The Notebook of Elbert Hubbard," 1927) said, "The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you." How true that statement is!

But more than that, let's turn that statement around. The friend is the person that knows all about them, and still likes them. Too often we want friends to like us for who we are, but want to judge others for who we think they should be. If we are striving for excellence in friendship, we have to be a friend first before we can expect a friend back. We have to be the best friend we can be before we can expect someone to be that to us. I watch my students at school do the exact opposite. They want to make fun of and be rude to others, but expect others to show them respect. I see many adults act  the same way. Guess what, it doesn't work that way!

Besides that, it is not always about what you receive back. Sometimes you may give respect and friendship that will not be reciprocated. So be it. Still be that friend. Still show others respect, even if you don't feel they deserve it. It will only enrich your life to do so. When you start caring about others, your life will start to become more fulfilling. And the best place to start is at home. Treat your spouse with the respect and love they deserve. If you do not like where your relationships at home are, start changing them. Be the one to make the changes first. Show the people closest to you that you love them. Be their friend. Many of us would never treat our best friends the way we treat our spouse. Shame on us! Those are the people that we should be best friends with. I challenge you and encourage you to develop strong friendships. Life is the fullest when friendships are strongest. Make a difference in others' lives. Rekindle their inner spirit! God bless!