Thursday, April 17, 2008

What kind of friend are you?

One cannot overlook the importance of having friends. We have all heard "he who has 1 true friend is truly blessed", and even in the Holy Bible we read "he who has 1000 friends has not 1 friend to spare". Even more important than having friends (and certainly the means to this end) is being a good friend first. Want a thousand friends? Follow Gandhi's advice "you must be the change you wish to see in the world" and be a good friend first.

I am nothing without my friends. Pictured above is my adventurously dressed brother, who is one of my best friends (this picture found it's way into the Calgary Herald by the way and was one of the few bright spots after the Flames loss this week). I was inspired to write about friends this week after the feelings I had deep down after;

1. A great friend said "I'm in" after I asked him to be in x city and wait y long to do z favor for me- no hesitation and he is busier than I am.
2. Another friend rounds up 4 tickets to a Lacrosse game plus dinner invites this weekend and invites both myself and the better half as a means of getting to know us better and deepen the friendship
3. Friends I grew up with continuously are patient and understanding despite a busy schedule that often necessitates long periods between gatherings. I get to see some of them this Saturday and I'm pumped!

The point is- I feel supported and validated in what I do because of friends. I feel a greater sense of identity through association with such great people. I have friends that make me a better business leader, a better coach, a better mentor. Others make me a better athlete, sports fan, and beer enthusiast. ALL of them make me a better person.

This entry today however- is in no way about me... it is about the fact that I have a lot of people to thank; and it is about a condition of give and take.

There are 2 things we really hope come out of reading about friends...
1) there are people that pop into your brain when you read this and hopefully they get a call, email or better yet an in person visit from you after reading this
2) you evaluate the state of your friendships, and come to the conclusion that YOU are the common denominator. The quality and quantity of your friends is directly related to the quality of yourself as a friend and the quantity of effort to be a friend (not necessarily the quantity of time spent as we are all busy).

Have great friendships? Pick up a phone.
Want better friendships? Look in the mirror.

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