Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends

"Life is to be fortified by many friendships. To love and to be loved is the greatest happiness of existence."

 Sydney Smith 

"To have a friend, be a friend."

 Paraphrase of Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Who are your friends?
How do you know who your friends are?
Did you know that you have friends you don't know about?
Did you know you have friends you have never met?
Sometimes we don't know who our friends are until the going gets tough. When we are in need, it can suddenly become clear who can be counted on to be a friend and who cannot. It is not always who we thought it would be. One of the nice things about having big problems is that they flush out these secret friends, so we can know who they are.

Sometimes you may seem alone, and maybe you are not sharing the nature of your need. Here is something you should know: Out there somewhere are people who support you in your trials, even if they don't know you by name. Somewhere somebody has gone through what you are going through. They care about you. Somewhere, let's say everywhere, there are people who care about you, because they have open hearts that go out to fellow human beings.

This is a big world full of lots of people. Among the billions of humans on this planet live some kind and loving persons who would be your friend. How many might there be? We can never count them. We may meet some of them. Most we will never meet, but isn't it good to know that they are out there?

If you have a hard time trusting that this is true, think about how you present yourself to the world. Do you create barriers to closeness with others? Do you share of yourself as you would like friends to share with you? What could you do to be a better friend to yourself? To those around you? You may trust that the world supports you when you are sincere.

Let us rejoice in the bounty of love in the world.
Let us open our hearts so that we can feel it flowing to us and through us.
Let us be a friend to the people of the world, starting with the people around us.
Let us participate in the circle of compassion that surrounds the globe.
Let us be a friend to the animals of the world.
Let us be a friend to the Earth with its delicate system of life.
Let us open our eyes to the needs of others, so that we can be a friend.
Let us see ourselves in the simplicity of our pure souls, so that we can be a friend to ourselves.

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© 1996 Tom Barrett