Who are your friends? Mark’s birthday is tomorrow.

If you have a long list of people who are your enemies and a short list of friends, that is not a sign of mental health.  You should have a long list of people you like and very few you don’t like because there are many more good people in the world than bad.

When Mark had emergency heart surgery, I was amazed at how many people sent him well wishes. Some of them I didn’t know even liked us, but whether they liked us or not, they wished us well which is always a good thing.

When I was in college, I changed my major many times , and one of those was a psychology major.  When I was a psych major, our professor had us draw a circle with our name in the middle, and the next circle was our closest friends, then the next circle was the next group.  On the outside, we were to write the names of important people in our lives, but not too close. And then, every month, we had to do it again, and at the end of the semester, the professor turned it back so we could see whether we had stable relationships.

I think back on that because in the business of publishing, when you’re moving ahead on a book, the writer feels like your friend.  But then the book is done.  So there is a lot of jumping in and out of friendships.

Life is long.  You never know what will happen.  There is almost no one you can just write off. Men age out of bad behavior.  Not always. But sometimes.  You think someone will be on your bad side forever, but things can change.  I like the Buddhist idea of right behavior. As much as possible, I like to work on that.  At some point, I will do something big in my life that will cause a ruckus.  And even then, I plan to live my life with as much grace as I can.

You only need a few people who are dear to you.  Keep them close. But there’s room for a lot of people in the world.  It’s a big place; a wild open grassy place. With a lot of room to grow.  And I need to grow and learn a great deal more grace.  Tomorrow is Mark’s birthday.  4/20.  It’s a good birthday. Millions of Americans will be celebrating.

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Published in: on April 19, 2015 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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