The Value You Bring | #MyFridayStory #221
“What value can you ever add to my life?”
I was asked this question by someone I considered to be a friend. It was like a blow in the gut. We knew each other growing up. We grew up in the same neighbourhood and attended the same primary and high schools. Although he was a year older, he was held back a year and in high school, we ended up in the same class. We weren’t house friends but as classmates, we enjoyed each other’s company and our friendship developed.
Two years before matriculating, my parents moved to a nearby suburb, and I changed schools. As was customary in those days, after matriculating and as eligible white boys, we went off to do our two years of compulsory military service. Most men were posted to camps far from home. Few of us had a choice on where and to which division within the army, air force or navy. Separated from family and friends, new friendships emerged through camaraderie and shared struggle.
But those early childhood friendships never waned.
After military service, some men went to study at university while others entered the working world. Many left our hometown, but those that remained in the neighbourhood stayed close friends. Such was our friendship. He started his own business in the area and rising as a successful entrepreneur, I respected him. Not because of his material success — although I don’t deny him that — but success at creating a life of abundance.
A life from where you can be a blessing to others.
He turned back to the person sitting at the table and continued as if I’d never stopped to greet him. I stood there without a word to say. I turned and walked away. Later at home, as I sat and considered his statement, I cried. I couldn’t understand such a callous and hurtful statement from anyone, let alone a friend. A week passed. I reflected on the possible reasons behind his remark. After some solo deep dives and asking friends and family, I went out and bought him a friendship card.
I don’t remember too much of the detail except that I said, if I ever heard of his death, I wouldn’t miss his funeral. I said I hope we can be friends.
I’m not sure about his reaction to receiving the friendship card. I know I’ve done business and seen him a few times since then. The encounters have been sincere and friendly. I’m glad I sent the card. I’m glad I extended my hand. I’m glad our friendship isn’t tarnished by a statement said without thinking. I’m glad the depth of our friendship could mean he takes it on the chin, and we move on as if nothing happened.
The truth is you bring enormous value to the people who care enough to stop and find out. Each of us can add value to the person next to us. Be it a family member or a homeless beggar on the corner. If you’re a successful entrepreneur living a life of abundance or struggling and unemployed not able to provide for your family — please remember, the value you bring is immeasurable.
Thank you for your kind support, encouragement, and friendship over the past year. I’m humbled and thankful beyond words.
2021 seemed tougher than 2020 but thanks to God — we were tougher. I’d love to hear how your 2021 treated you.
May 2022 be another year we can all look back and say (thanks to Stephen R. Covey):
We have lived,
we have loved, and
we have learned.
— if we get this right,
we leave a legacy.
Happy New Year!
As always, thanks for reading 🙏