Finding a friend is like finding an agate on the beach. You have to look hard and only pick up the one you know is real. There are a lot of rocks that, at first glance, look like agates but are really quartz or sometimes sand-worn pieces of glass.

You could pick up rocks indiscriminately and maybe wind up with an agate, but your pockets would fill up with needless weight.

I’ve found that good friends accept me for who I am. And then, through encouragement, they help me become better than I was.

I have a few friends like that. Only a few. Such friends are rare and that’s alright because it makes me appreciate them all the more.

You know you have such friends when, even if circumstances make it so you seldom get to hear from them, when they do call it’s like you were never apart. They stay friends no matter what.

And, even more important, a true friend is someone you can trust; even with your most personal foolishness. True friends understand you, because they’ve walked a similar path to yours. They don’t judge you. They just care for you.

I like walking the beach and skipping rocks across the water. But when I find an agate I never throw it away.

Print Friendly

5 thoughts on “Friends

  1. I remember looking for agates on the beach. Good metaphor for friends. I appreciate your thoughtful posts. Your essay on depression was informative and helpful. It described well my period of clinical depression in the 1990’s. Your writing reaches more people than you realize and you are helping. I appreciate you very much, Jim. You are my cousin and also a friend.

    • Hi my very good friend, Jan. I felt I really got to know you when you were up here and we walked along the boardwalk at the bay. I remember you telling me about the depression you had and I am so glad you are beyond that now. When depression fades it’s like we can breathe again. Yay! Take care cuz.

  2. Jim, Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I have been following along. In fact, I somehow got you on my header bar so you are one click away! On my run this morning, I formulated a bit of a treatise on friends myself.
    Friends; when I first read your post, I was right with you. I could count my best friends one hand. Then I went to my FB list, and saw lots that I would have to add to that short list. Then, I have good friends that don’t FB. So my list was getting pretty long.
    I must not be discriminatory enough!
    For me, a metaphor for finding (and keeping) friends is more like a trip through an orchard. Do you just want an apple, or a basketful? Lots to choose from, but some to reject for sure. When you are done, don’t you find your hands are full, or your basket is running over? Maybe a couple more than you intended?
    My criteria for a friend? Honesty, integrity, good humor, and a shared interest (pretty broad, I know).
    A number of years ago, the corporation I worked for did a big employee survey. One of the questions was “Do you have a best friend at work?” No-brainer right? I have spent 9 hours a day with some of these folks for 30 YEARS. We have shared all the intimate details of life; marriages, divorces, babies, parents passing- all that stuff. Of course I have best friends at work! OK, the survey comes back, broken down by division, department, work group, etc. Data is anonymous of course, so only percentages are given. In our work group, only 4% have a best friend at work. HUH? Being a whiz at math, I slowly figure out that only 1 respondent had a best friend at work! That was me! Where are all my best friends?? Am I supposed to now hate all my former best friends? LOL. No, the answer is that friendships may be reciprocal, but they don’t have to be equilateral.
    Anyway Jim, you and I have had about 2 reasonable interactions in that last 40 years, but still, if somebody asks me if Jim Smith is my friend, I will say “YES!”

    And by the way; I see that you have 30% more FB friends than I do!

    • Hi Tom. If you think I have a lot of friends on FB… you should see my wife’s! Of course she is very gregarious and knows more people than I do in real life too.
      Yes I consider you a good friend too. Do you remember the time you and I mounted a US flag on the top of my house? I think we we’re countering the negative protests that were going on at the Peach Arch Park that day. As far as my work went, I can’t say I had any close friends their. Nothing wrong with the people I worked with – they were great – I just had a somewhat solitary job in the company’s one-man media department. And, I tend to be a lot more of an introvert than my wife.
      Take care and thanks for reading my blog. (If you know anyone who has leukemia, please pass this blog address along.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *