A Good Friend

“Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.” This pearl of wisdom was written by opera singer, Marian Anderson.
Yes! Every human being is a gift and everyone has a gift. I completely agree with both of these statements. This is not the same as what I heard one more time last night: “Well, I believe that everyone is gifted.” That means everyone is advanced. If everyone is advanced, then no one is advanced. Only in Lake Wobegon are all children above average. Why does this concept still need to be defended? Is everyone also developmentally delayed?
I do believe that everyone is a gift to humanity—a unique, unrepeatable, exquisite jewel. And I believe that everyone has a special gift to discover, to develop and to give. When anyone’s gifts are disparaged, the individual is crushed. A crushed human spirit is vulnerable. “I am not valued. Why should I continue living?”
You should continue living because you are needed in this world. You, personally, individually, are needed. You make a difference. If it looks like there is no way for you to make a difference now, I can promise you that the world will change simply because you are in it. Even if no one appreciates you now, that will change. Eventually, you will find people who do appreciate you. They will come into your life just because you are here. Your presence attracts others of similar energy. If you are not here, others who are like you, who need you, will never find you.
What does it mean to have the gift of being a good friend? A good friend is someone who appreciates you just the way you are. A good friend listens. A good friend cares. A good friend protects you. A good friend stands up for you and doesn’t let others make fun of you. A good friend tells you the truth, not just what you want to hear. A good friend protects you from yourself. A good friend doesn’t let you drink and drive. A good friend will get help for you when you are so despairing that you don’t think you can go on. A good friend will value your life more than your confidentiality.
The most important reason to keep living is to protect your friends, your family, every person who has ever shown you kindness. There is no greater pain you can inflict on everyone in your world than to cease to be. A good friend chooses the gift of Life.