Carole King had a very dear friend who was having a rough time of it. She wanted to remind him the he was not alone, so she wrote him this song. That was fifty years ago and you might know his name, James Taylor. We went on to record the song and it was one of his most iconic hits. How wonderful to have a friend who wrote you something for your personal needs, which then became one of your greatest legacies. THAT is true friendship.
How great it is to have friends, how much better when they know you well enough to be able to understand and read your needs. That comes through relationship, transparency, a desire to exhibit care and compassion, and to see friendship as a two way street. Just because you spend time with people, or they read your online posts doesn’t mean they get you or understand. True friendship comes by putting in the time and experiences as well as sharing our true selves.
If I count my true friends, the ones that fit that definition, I can count them on one hand. And I’m okay with that. To have one close friend, let alone multiples, is a blessing. I am reminded that the best way to keep a friend is to first be a friend, which can be harder during these times of social distancing, remote video meetings and meals eaten at home. It means making concessions on how to get together, and to make sure the unimportant elements of life do not get in the way of important friendship conversations.
When life hits us, we may be like James Taylor was in that we are having a rough patch. That is when we need a friend like Carole King, someone to remind us that you’ve got a friend. Which one are you? Both sides are of equal importance in our relationships because we have to show our true selves to let people in. The time to build those kinds of friendships in when you don’t need them…be a friend before you need that friend.