Every friendship is special

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 

Albert Camus     1913 – 1960, French Author

There is normally no shortage of friends when you want to have a good time and things are going well.  But when things turn, as they invariably at some time for whatever reason do, that is when you need your friends the most.    

The old saying of finding out then who your friends are is very true.  But it works both ways.  Are you around when your friends are having a hard time?  I must be honest, I have loads of acquaintances but not that many friends and I tend to arrange my life – as I do my Facebook – accordingly; Family, Friends, Acquaintances.

Don’t get me wrong, if I can help an acquaintance I will, heck, I even go out my way to help a stranger! But for my friends, I would do anything.  The problem with my friends though – and see if you recognise this in yourself – is no one ever wants to let on that they are having a tough time.  It’s like we have been conditioned to be tough, bottle it all in, never let anyone see you are “normal”. 

This is not an invitation for you to collapse in a crying heap – just a suggestion that sometimes you should go to a friend when you need an ear and maybe even a shoulder and let them be there for you. 

Likewise, keep an eye on your friends, look out for the tell-tale signs that they need you – and be there for them.  You don’t have to have all the answers, just be there.

To my friends and family (that are as good as friends) – thank you for walking beside me … and just being my friend.

 

21 September 2011

“A thief believes everybody steals.”   

Edward W. Howe

A couple of days ago I wrote about how we see people as we see ourselves.  It therefore makes sense that a thief thinks everyone steals.  To a certain extent I can understand people that steal because they have to provide food for their children, but what I cannot understand is how people steal from their employers.

I seriously just cannot comprehend how these people do it – how do they collect their wages at the end of the week, knowing that they have “subsidised” that with some extra?  This is a topic that can get me very wound up.

All of us would like to earn more – even the wealthiest person would not refuse more, but the key word here is ‘earn’.  People are employed to do a job.  They are required to show up at a certain time and not just stay there until it is time to knock off, but to do the job they were employed to do.  Maybe, just maybe some people will do a bit more.  Then in return for that, they are paid an agreed amount of money.  Is that too hard for some people to follow, or are they just bad people?

Does loyalty still exist today?  Perhaps a way to attract good staff is to treat them really badly – the people I know that have been treated badly by employers have just shrugged their shoulders and moved on, not willing to go through the difficulty of trying to get deserved compensation out of a louse. 

The flip side of that is the good employer who treats their staff well, is considerate of them, but gets screwed over time and time again.  Why more than once?  Because that is the type of person they are – believing there is good in everyone.  Some of them eventually get the message, and toughen up, but it steals a bit of their soul to have to do so. 

It’s not to say the rest of the world is perfect – but just look at what examples are being set for us by the leaders of our country – not just political leaders, but business and sports leaders too.  Everybody wants to line their own pockets and tough luck for whatever that money was intended for.  Imagine if all the money that has been stolen by corrupt people suddenly appeared in the state’s coffers, and there was someone competent enough to use it properly?  Create employment, build houses and then by all means do a health care system.

You might wonder how I am going to get a positive message out of this – but as small as your pond may be, don’t let the ripple of theft disturb it.  If you know about something that is wrong – blow the whistle on it.  Even just tell the person you know what they are doing and ask them to stop.  Try and do something to curb this disease infecting all of us. 

And as crazy as it sounds, stop stealing from yourself…  Every time you don’t do something that you would have liked to have done, the time you don’t spend with your family or loved ones.  Those are stolen moments.

Until tomorrow, may the only thing you steal be someone else’s smile.