“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my
friends, the old and the new.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In this season of giving thanks, we may be tempted to dwell upon those material blessings available to us, or possibly those outside of our reach due to this difficult year of global pandemic and economic stress. And in truth, anyone with good health, sufficient food, and a warm home has much for which to give thanks.
Emerson’s words in the epigraph to this column point out an important truth which, though not particularly new, are particularly relevant – that friendship is one of our greatest blessings. A good friend listens to the words you say but also hears the words you fear to say. A good friend accepts you as you are right now but also believes in the better you that is still to come. Above all, a good friend trusts, hopes, and forgives – trusts you to treat them well, hopes for a better future, and forgives your failings. To have a good friend is a blessing. To be such a friend is more than a blessing – it is a calling.
My hope for you is that you be blessed with good friends, and hear the call to be a good friend to one who needs you.
Patrick J. Wood