Is a Friend Indeed.
Oft we have heard this expression as an emphasis to humans that we in our daily living have need of friends who we can turn to for a shoulder to cry on, or just share out innermost hopes and fears, or as a potential Samaritan in overcoming a personal crisis.
The test of friendship comes hardest in the worst of an individual's times. As one American President (can anyone update Desi who is/was that?) said: An individual should consider himself/herself blessed if, towards the end of one's life on earth, one has amassed a number equivalent to the number of fingers in one's hands to be able to call "friends".
Desi had once thought he had advanced to counting the Toes -- super-lucky! -- but events over the past 12 months had dwindled the number back again to merely counting the fingers. Luckily, it's couting those in the secodn hand (adds new meaning to 'second-hand friendship', eh?)
I reviewed my situation last night as I reviewed an episode of The West Wing and this little anecdote was related by Leo MacGarry, White House Chief of Staff, to his deputy Josh Lyman:
One night, a man was careless and he fell into a deep hole by the roadside (in an American city, New York or Washington DC? or mayhaps in Furong, aka Seremban, the city famous for astronuts playing five-stones).
A pastor passed by, and the man-in-the-hole cried out loudly: "Please help me get out of here!"
The man-in-the-white-cloth wrote a prayer on a piece of paper and threw it into the hole, and moved on.
Next, a doctor passed by, and the man-in-the-hole cried out more loudly: "Plaese help me get out of this dark and dank hole!"
The man-in-the-white-overalls wrote out a prescription on a piece of paper and threw it into the hole, and moved on.
Then a third guy passed by, and the man-in-the-hole cried out in desperation: "Brudder, please help me get out of this damed hole!"
The stranger peered into the hole, then jumped straight in realising another fellow being had fallen in.
The man-in-the-hole exclaimed: "Now why do you do that, jumping into this damned place? It now becomes a problem for the two of us!"
The stranger smiled, said in a soothing voice: "No worries, I had been here before. I know the way out of here."
While we do meeet with strangers in Life's journey wh turn out to be that GOoD Samaritan to help us out of a jam/hole, remember also to DO THE RIGHT THING -- Help out thy brother/sister when you can -- BECAUSE THAT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
Chow! -- which means "Come Eat Now with me this bread..." OR "I'll see you later, inside or outside dat hole!"
Parting pome to share, from Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox