Sunday, December 7, 2014

Friendship and Human Kindness - Four of Wands

 Jason would never have been able to achieve his goal without the kindness, and generousity of his friends who helped him to achieve his goal of obtaining the Golden Fleece.

The same holds true for our own friendships, which is truly a blessing. I know I could never survive without my friends in my life, past, present or future. It is a remarkable, and I think miraculous event, when we meet up with new friends, seeing those we have known all our lives, but are now separated from, for great lengths of time, and when we meet up with them again, it is as if we've never been apart.

I remember meeting certain folks, if only briefly, that I felt an immediate connection with, that I will never forget. My mother would always say that real, true friendships are few, and far between. If you can call those individuals in your life, true friends, you are blessed. I agree with her.

Acquaintances can be many, but these are not deep friendships. However when I reflect on the meaning of friendship, I think of kindnesses shown to me. I think of all the people who picked me up hitch hiking to, and from University when I had no vehicle. I think of days I had to reach out to others who never hesitated to  respond, even when I didn't ask, with no expectation. Many of these people I do not see, or may never see again, but I consider them friends, because of their kindness toward me, when I most needed help, and I will never, ever forget them.

Christmas is a time when we celebrate with our friends and family. But for many it is not so much a time of celebration, but a time of sadness and struggle. It is easy to love your immediate friends and family, not so easy to do for those who are out of sight and out of mind, such as those who are in prison or are experiencing homelessness.

There is not much virtue in loving your friends, but with those who are our enemies or those we do not know, it is when we show human kindness that makes all the difference to another, and to ourselves. Small kindnesses should never be underestimated, they are just as important as the large kindnesses..

I hope this Christmas  and throughout the coming years, I will reach out to others, and impart that human kindness that was so freely given to me, regardless if they are my friends or not.

 I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Ettiene De Grellet

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