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Carpe diem. Live for the day. Seize the opportunity. Which one is yours, and where do you apply it?

flower arrangement roses and irisesWe have all seen the heroic movies where the battle cry is to stand up for our beliefs and rights and ourselves. The conflict is harrowing, but in the end, we feel the sense of accomplishment which comes with triumph no matter how much it is tempered with the pain of loss. We knew from the start: Good people are going to die to win.

Perhaps, this adage is familiar.

Stop to smell the roses.”

Why is the connection so tenuous? They are the same thing. Taking the time to stop and truly enjoy is just as heroic as destroying what may stand against you. In fact, it is the peaceful usurpation of control from those forces which would destroy your happiness.

Roses

When we think of roses, we picture the perfect blooms with the scent which is claimed sweet despite its name. How many roses do we miss?

Black Dragon RoseThe rose of success is erroneously portrayed as a coup against all odds. Is the success any less sweet if it only carries import for one? The meal with no scorch marks. The lesson passed. The child’s toy assembled with no parts left over.

How do we mischaracterize the rose of help? Not all of us are offered the opportunity to render life-saving measures. Still, we discount the sweetness which is accomplished every day. The houseplant which silently blooms in the windowsill. The dog whose slobbery kisses and muddy paws await us on every return. The child asleep two hours after bedtime.

Rose SketchThe rose of friendship is thorny. We all fail at being as good a friend as we often need others to be. Sometimes, those thorns prick others. Just as often the thorns prick us.

No one wants to be held to the standard of always wearing the white cape and being cheerful, invulnerable, resourceful and overqualified. No one wants to be tasked with being eternally strong without the support of others. No one wants to live without reciprocity.

Help

Why do we tend to think of our friends this way? Are our friends who do not have major catastrophes they need us to overcome not as worthy? Are those who show us simple, unbidden kindnesses not friends? Do we devalue those who we show consideration beneath the level of friends?

Alone

Over time, we look back at our lives and often bemoan the lack of friends we have encountered. To challenge this thinking, we need to look at those who we have touched.

Sometimes, we have no idea we have made a difference, good or bad, in a person’s life until years later when we meet on the street and a confession gushes forth. More often, we are self-effacing and dismiss the ardor of a sincere thanks, the tenor of the voice and the light in the eye of the recipient of what we consider an inconsequential act or insignificant words.

In those moments, we are not alone. We are in the midst of friends. The unlikely people we may never consciously choose to engage in the depth we would those we call friend.

Challenge

Would you engage someone who you otherwise would not give a second thought? Would you tend a need of someone you assume has no way of repaying your kindness?

In order to find more friends, we simply need to be a friend more often and realize when those kindnesses are repaid with capital of a different sort. Reciprocity is rarely tit for tat. We do not expect equal acts from our friends because they satisfy needs other than the ones we satisfy for them. In their sincerity do we find equality.

Ever the friend,

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16 Comments

  1. I hope you are up for this challenge.

    Reply
  2. I tend to make friends easily and do so simply by being myself.

    Unfortunately most don’t last and in the past I have done much for others who then sold me down the river without a moment’s hesitation.

    The real friends I can count on are few and most of them are on the internet!

    Love and hugs my friend!!! 🙂

    Prenin
    prenin recently posted..Thursday – Shopping Day.My Profile

    Reply
  3. That’s an interesting way to look at it. When you give, you tend to get, and we could all probably give more than we do.

    Reply
  4. I have acquaintances that were once close friends yet remain loyal, and supposed close friends without loyalty. They are those that merely give lip service never following through, too ignorant to know I can tell the difference.

    Maybe I’ll too old and picky, I write them off. I can take care of myself.

    Reply
  5. I have lots of friends and I am kind of them and I’m not waiting for anything in return. It should be give and take but sometimes only you give and that’s what friends are for. Great post!
    Dylann Andre recently posted..5 Retail Marketing IdeasMy Profile

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  6. I can never have enough “true” friends.
    Bearman recently posted..This is Why I DrawMy Profile

    Reply
  7. There are some really good friends, and then there are those that are seemingly really good friends.

    Sometimes we see the reality in those friends that we thought were sincere, but then life goes on, and who said that every friend would remain loyal? I guess only true friends are of such a high calibre, and whether it be on the Internet or a friend in the street those are the real friends in life. Should forgiveness be shown for those that fail miserably in friendship, or should one just forget that they ever existed?

    As for offering assistance to a friend, I never offer help to anyone and expect anything in return, it is just not my way… Kindness is easy, and we need to show kindness whenever it arises 🙂

    Have a great Monday Red 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    Reply
    • I do not think forgiveness should be a knee-jerk reaction. It is far simpler to walk away and operate as long as they no longer exist. The good times are not erased, but you spend no energy bemoaning the loss of someone of whom you are well rid. xxxx

      Reply
  8. Dearest Red,
    I am not a consistent friend, as in keeping up contact and regular reaching out. I am however a deep felt friend. I cherish those I hold dear and the gap of time between our communications is erased when we speak or write. My frequent withdrawal into myself might appear like disinterest to those who don’t know me well. To those who do, it’s not all about them. It’s me. The friends who are confident within themselves take no affront to my needs. I quickly offer kindness in my everyday life. The feeling it gives to me is its own reward.
    Gail
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – Pure of MotiveMy Profile

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    • I am one who never finds your withdrawal an affront. I understand it entirely. Those everyday kindnesses are the precise things of which I speak. Just being a better friend to those who may not have an opportunity to interact with any other friend really satisfies the need.

      Reply

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