Last night, at around 3 am, I decided to call my Lady J. If there was someone I could call at 3 am, someone who would bail me out at such unholy an hour, it was her.
Sure no lives were at risk and no investments at stake; but it was urgent enough for me. Although I had called it an emergency (and it really was very important to me, you see) I’m sure she sensed it could probably wait until the morning. And yet, answering – without annoyance or irritation – she switched on her lights, cleared her throat, and simply listened. I needed something, and she was both willing and ready to give without hesitation. Just as she had been so many times before, she was both patient and understanding. My card wasn’t working: 5 more days the bank had said. But I needed to secure my ticket to go home for Christmas right now; right now at 3 am. Not on the morrow, not even at 7, but right now. I needed to be with my family and i needed to know i would be in two weeks – right now. And so, with no complaints or questions asked, she brought out her card and paid.
She knew me and understood my dramatic tendencies. This was no emergency at all, this was simply me.
The scenaro did make me think.
I felt absolutely no shame. You see, i don’t ever ask for money, but if I do, be sure that I’m asking family (“family” to me). She clearly was a sister. Although I felt somewhat guilty for pulling her out of her sleep at 3 am, I felt shameless. If ever there was a person I could depend on, I knew it was her.
Of course, the friendship and generosity was mutual. Of course she knew she could as much rely and depend on me, as I could on her. But last night I came to really see and appreciate a different kind of reliability.
It really did make me think; especially in light of friends I had given my heart and my all to; friendships I thought (and hoped and prayed) would last a lifetime. Friends who did not understand that in friendship there was no room for pride, or shame, or lies or deceit. Friends who did not understand the importance of honest communication and loyalty. Who did not value respect or humility. In light of friends now gone and friendships now lost, I really did see how truly blessed I actually was.
I thought about it last night, and today I thought about it some more.
Sometimes, all you need to do to discover true friendships, is move out, away, around. And then look back: see and feel if something has changed.
How strong is that bond now that you no longer commune and communicate daily. Is the trust and love still there, still as strong? Or have things started to go really wrong?
As I am getting older, I do believe I am finally becoming wiser too. I have found that – as much as I am loving others – there is a time and place to receive love too. And sometimes, rather than continuing to make excuses and overlooking the wrong, you need to move on.
As I am getting older, I am realizing that every relationship matters; that every person is important; and that there is no time to be wasted. If I cannot learn from you, and you will not learn from me, then maybe – just maybe – an alliance needs to be put on hold (for a while). If I try to understand you, but you do not care to understand me – then who will look out for me?
I guess, what it really ultimately boils down to is understanding. If you care about attention, while I care about honesty, then you try to be honest, while I try to be attentive. And should one of us fail at either, let’s be humble enough to say sorry.
And that’s the quintessence of friendship, I guess: humility.
Friends are never perfect, but what they are is humble.
Standing before a true friend is like standing in front of a mirror, naked. Without deceit or deception, but simple imperfections and sometimes unfavourable reflections; and yet without shame.
There is no shame in doing wrong. Shame can only be nurtured by pride; and amongst true friends there is no room for that.