Today is November 15, 2023 and I am continuing this effort of writing lessons that I can use to make my time useful in prison. Accomplishing this goal requires commitment, discipline, and reflection.
While I serve my sentence in the federal prison camp at Hazelton, I want to earn the trust of people around me. I cannot ask them to work hard on personal development if I cannot show them how hard I worked. We all must reflect on the decisions we made yesterday and assess how those decisions brought us to where we are today.
As I made those reflections this early morning, I turned a series of articles I wrote many years ago, back in the summer of 2016–long before I ever thought that I would be preparing for a journey through federal prison. I wrote about the importance of true friendship.
In a world characterized by pretense and busyness, the quest for genuine friendship is a pursuit close to our hearts. It’s a blessing we need, and one that I cherish today. True friendship isn’t merely the act of sharing likes and dislikes, interests, and passions; it runs deeper, founded on recognition and familiarity with one another’s personalities. Below I offer a summary from my articles of many years ago:
Recognizing Potential Friendships:
The journey to true friendship begins with recognizing the signs. It’s about sharing a mutual desire for companionship and often finding a common bond that unites us. However, genuine friendship transcends these initial connections. It thrives on shared concern, a genuine desire for growth, and the hope for each other’s success in all aspects of life.
True Friendship in Action:
True friendship isn’t just a label; it’s a living, breathing entity. It involves action, encompassing acts of kindness and support without expecting anything in return. In a true friendship, there is an unwavering commitment to sharing thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism.
The foundation of true friendship is built on the attributes we recognize in each other, evolving from recognition into a deep and meaningful relationship. It’s essential to invest time in getting to know each other, creating shared memories, and contributing to one another’s growth. Friendship takes time, patience, and dedication.
The Pillars of Trust and Loyalty
Trust forms the bedrock of true friendship. It’s the cornerstone that allows us to share our lives, thoughts, and feelings openly. True friends are the keepers of our deepest secrets, and they safeguard our vulnerabilities with unwavering fidelity. In genuine friendship, there is no room for betrayal, backbiting, or negativity.
Accountability and Support
True friendship demands accountability. It calls for encouragement and forgiveness when offenses occur. Friends are our steadfast support systems during challenging times. They are dependable and offer unconditional love.
Unconditional love is a hallmark of true friendship. Regardless of the circumstances, true friends love and support each other. Their wish for each other’s well-being is as profound as their concern for themselves.
The Essence of Friendship
The essence of friendship lies in considering the well-being of another person as valuable as our own. True friendship is marked by actions that reflect this principle. We treat our friends with respect and regard, always wishing the best for them.
Cultivating Genuine Connections
In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, nurturing friendships can be challenging. Balancing our busy lives with quality time spent with loved ones can feel like an uphill battle. However, maintaining these connections is vital. We must make an effort to reach out to our friends, check on them when they’re not well, and attend important events in their lives.
Old and New Friendships
True friendships can withstand the test of time. As the saying goes, “there is no friend like an old friend.” Trust and loyalty are often built over years, forming the strong bonds that define true friendship. However, new friendships can also be significant and offer fresh perspectives. Keeping our hearts and minds open to both old and new connections can enrich our lives.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
A true friend is recognized by their actions. As our friendship deepens, the respect and regard we hold for each other continue to grow. Our friends’ actions reflect their love and commitment to our well-being.
Conclusion: The Treasure of True Friendship
In a world filled with judgment, true friendship is a precious gem. It offers a haven where we can be ourselves without pretense or fear of criticism. True friends support and console us in times of need, providing unwavering encouragement.
Our genuine friends believe in us, helping us set and achieve our goals while providing unconditional love and acceptance. These friends become an extension of our family, standing by us through thick and thin.
In a world that often pulls us in multiple directions, we must prioritize the people who truly matter—the friends who inspire us, love us, and support us. True friendship is a treasure worth nurturing, a light that shines brightly in our lives.