Friday, October 21, 2011

Too Laugh Often and Much!

I am often approached by individuals lamenting about how cruel other people can be.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have had an unusually high number of conversations about social interaction, bullying, and narcissism.    All of this talk has me thinking about my favorite quote -  one which I live by.  The quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I will abbreviate it here ... "To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; ... To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

It seems a number of people are struggling with the "endure the betrayal of false friends" part of this creed.  And, rightfully so!   It can be very challenging to be hurt by someone you considered to be a friend.  There is no denying that this causes emotional pain.  However, try to keep in mind that you can learn something from the experience and grow stronger as a result. 
It, also, occurs to me that reviewing the qualities of a good friend might serve us well.  We live in a fast-paced society where it is easy to become consumed in our own affairs while neglecting those around us.  This is a lonely way to live.

What, then, makes a good friend?  When I ponder the question, I think of loyalty, respect, and honesty.  I believe a true friend is someone you can think out loud in front of and not worry about being judged.  Friendship is a positive exchange of energy.  Aren't your best friends the ones you can laugh with?  And, yes, when the heat is on, a true friend steps up and is self-sacrificing (at least to some extent) in order to help the other person persevere.
It may seem counterintuitive, but it is in giving that we receive.  If you haven't tried it, try focusing on what you may give to others rather than what they can do for you.  You will be richly rewarded!

And, remember, nobody is perfect.  Keep in mind that your friends are doing the best they can at any given moment. 
I'd love to hear your input. Please post a comment below or contact me at 732-842-3515 or for a complimentary 30-minute Formulate Your Goals! Phone Session. I am here to support you!

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