A note to a friend…

Cut It Out!
Jul 28, 2020
Nothing is for Free
Sep 30, 2020

 

HERE’S THE THING

 

Some clever person nailed it when they said, “When days are dark, friends are few”.

 

 

THE UNPACKING

When I was growing up, I was taught that, if you can count your true friends on one hand you are a rich person. I always thought they got that wrong, because I had loads of friends. It wasn’t until I experienced a few bumps in the road when and all of a sudden, I noticed I was alone. I realised then, that we have acquaintances, work colleagues, study buddies, teammates, we even have suppliers who become acquaintances, but make no mistake these are not your friends! And don’t even get me started on Facebook friends.

Someone else once said that, you can see a person’s true colours when you are no longer beneficial to their life. Buddies are not friends. They are people that are nice to you in a social situation and when you have something to offer them. When they are getting something from you, even just recognition, they smile and call you a friend. A true friend however, wants nothing from you. A true friend has probably seen your worst side and they love you all the same. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, especially in the middle of bad times, but sometimes good can come out of a bad situation. You will discover during these trying times who your friends really are, and who is just using you. Trust me, I have walked this path before, when times get tough you stand alone. The people who you thought were your friends are nowhere to be seen. They ghost you, make excuses, ignore your calls, and avoid you. This one fundamental rule never changes. We seem to spend most of our time and effort trying to impress, spend time with, and associate with 90% of the people who will never have our back. We tend to ignore the 10% (or in some cases not even be aware of) who the 10% of actual friends are until you are in a corner, struggling to survive, and then they walk in. This is important. Who are your true friends, the ones that you know for a fact, have your back?

 

THE APPLICATION

 

  1. It’s 2.30am in the morning, you were playing poker, you owe the table R2 000 and you can’t leave until it’s paid. You are in a very dodgy neighbourhood. Who do you call? Who will come and get you, and bring the money for you?
  2. Your dad died. Did you notice who took time off work to stand next to you as you buried your father? Who will stand next to you?
  3. You’ve lost your job, you have no way to put food on the table. Who do you call?
  4. You are feeling sad, you need someone just to sit with you. Not to solve your problems, not to give you advice, not to make you feel better, to just sit in the corner and allow you to be you, knowing that they are there, just sitting in the corner. Who is that person for you?
  5. Who has your back when people are speaking unfavourably about you when you’re not there?
  6. Who still remembers your birthday long after you no longer have budget to buy their supplies?
  7. Who is the first person to tell you that you are full of sh1t when you are, or that you did great job when you did, who wants to support you when you’re trying something new, and who wants to celebrate your highs and help you through your lows?

It really doesn’t matter who you have in mind or whose name you answer the above questions with or not. Here’s the wisdom, here’s the thing. Are you that person to someone else? Be the friend that you wish you had, and maybe, just maybe you will find a true friend in return.

You know exactly why you have received this today. You’re welcome.

Your Wise Old Learned Friend.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Mickey Lamprecht says:

    How amazing that you summarised without judgement or recall exactly what a true friend is…and isn’t.

    It is true that we call people ‘friend’ so easily when in actual fact most often it is either an ‘I am using you’ or ‘You are using me’ scenario.

    You sparked an idea for me. Perhaps I must give more thought to whom I call ‘Friend’. If I continue to use Friend so casually does it not steals some of the reverence from the term? I think I will endeavour to reserve the term Friend only to those very few who deserve it.

    I am also inspired to acknowledge the few …. those who deserved the title of Friend…. and thank them again or having my back.

    I thank YOU for keeping it real and for giving me so much to think about. You continue to inspire and I remain always one of your loyal fans 🙂

    • Gavin says:

      Thanks Mickey, in these trying times I think it’s important that we know who we can lean on, and who we can’t. Nothing worse when you think you have people and you don’t.

  2. Janet Masson says:

    True as always.
    Thanks Gavin

  3. Ismail says:

    Your article absolutely hits the nail on the head.

  4. Amelia Sequeira says:

    Great piece thanks Gavin!

  5. Basil Roberts says:

    Hi Gavin. Thanks for sharing your perspective. A genuinely nice colleague once commented that we are friends. I had to respectfully disagree, as much as I enjoyed his company, his jokes , humility and his intellect. He was somewhat surprised, but I had to differentiate between being a very good and respectable colleague and a friend. Simply stated he attends rugby matches with his friend and they invite one-another for braais weekends.
    Our social engagement ends at the bar after work or at the airport after a golf tour. Even when I get an invite to an important birthday celebration, I am still not a friend. If I have never been to your house, we are friendly acquaintances or colleagues. That’s a start.

    • gavin says:

      You are so right Basil, I think it’s important that people know the difference so that they don’t get themselves in a bind thinking that someone is going to assist them, only to find out, they were only buddies.

  6. Colleen De Beer says:

    This was a wake up call – I think you just “chucked” a bucket of ice cold water on my brain!!

    You are able to hit the nail on the head each time and thank you, any thoughts of becoming a Politician?

  7. Don Barry says:

    Thanks Gavin,
    I like it all but the last sentence ,
    the one in purple is the one we should all aspire to.
    Not just because we are all going through this pandemic thing, but in general .
    But here the thing I only have a few friends , maybe I am not trying hard enough.
    Thanks for the wisdom.
    Don Barry.

  8. Frans says:

    You inspire me to strive to be that person that someone can call ‘my friend’
    Much love

  9. Mike Scarth says:

    This particular piece of wisdom has hit quite a sweet spot with me today. Having moved to the UK recently meant that there’s been a lot to sacrifice and one particular tough aspect is the ‘restart’ of my career. I was killing it in SA and was proud of what I had achieved and now moving to the UK, I don’t have that anymore and I am literally on the bumpy road as you put it.
    The journey so far has really peeled back the layers on helping me self-reflect and yes you are correct- the true friends have revealed themselves for which I am very grateful. Now, am I the friend to what they expect? I bloody hope so and I will continue to fight the good fight.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Gav.

    Mike

  10. Sharon Nortje says:

    It’s such a pity we have to go about it the hard way to find the true friends in our life.
    As always, so inspiring Gavin, thank you!

  11. Tracey Rashkumar says:

    Excellent wisdom and a good reminder.

  12. Martie Steyn says:

    Thanks Gavin…..this really helps to put in perspective for my children!!!

  13. Gillian says:

    Great inspiration!
    Good to have a WOLF in my corner.

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