A genuine friend encourages and challenges us to live our best thoughts, honor our purest motives, and achieve our most significant dreams. ~John C. Maxwell
A friend of mine, yes, a true friend, literally posted a hand-written note to my office wall the other day. We don’t see hand written words much anymore. This definition was written on a scrap of notebook paper long since torn away from its spiral binding. It made its way from the past into the present as it shines and reminds me each day of the true sense of the word. How often do we call people our friends, especially those with whom we are only acquainted? We use the term too loosely. We have friends on Facebook, or any social media and choose to call them friends.
Let’s break down this definition.
A genuine friend: It would seem authenticity is at stake here. How often are we truly genuine as a public self? My last post suggests that we often subconsciously use our occupations to describe who we are, but the translation of that description fails immensely. Being true can be difficult. It can expose our weaknesses and cause us to be vulnerable – a risk we would rather not take. If we can be true to who we are at our core, we come across as different. No one wants to be different; we’d rather fit in. It would seem we don’t allow many people to see our genuine self. It’s a shame.
As a genuine friend, one would and should demonstrate authenticity. Possessing this strength, it makes sense that we would encourage those around us to also be genuine. This is considered the best way to be. It follows that we would encourage and hold accountable those around us to live their best thoughts. Mind you, these are thoughts for the highest self we can become. That means no more self loathing and self defeat. It’s the push that helps us smile and get through our day.
Next we would honor or respect the other’s purest motives. What is pure? It’s the refined remains that the stuff of our experiences, the life and trauma we’ve lived through, leaves behind. If life was all sugar coated, we would not know what it means to be refined or have pure motives. We would only try to achieve what we deem we are entitled to that drives what we do or say.
Instead, we would aim to help our friends achieve their most significant dreams. What makes one dream more significant than others? It could be the value one places on that dream. It may be a goal of financial freedom, of helping others achieve their dreams. Dreams come in many sizes. The dream to achieve an educational degree is just as significant as the dream to be a parent who is aware of the needs of his or her children. Dreams can be simple or complicated. As genuine friends, we are responsible to be at the aid of others.
How many true friends can you say you have after reading this post? Ask if you’ve been a genuine friend.
Apply what we’ve learned from John C. Maxwell and make the determination to be a genuine friend.