The Eight Friends We Need

It might take a lifetime, but may we meet them. And know them. And be them.

The veteran
Someone you’ve known a long time. You’ve shared a few foxholes and trenches. Ups and downs, battle scars, disappointments, and celebrations, they’ve been there. And still are.

The reader
Someone who reads. Books. The kind with pages made of paper. They know the joy of stimulating their mind and expanding their imagination and skills and vocabulary. Their recommendations carry weight. Because their intellectual pursuit backs them up.

The encourager
Someone who believes in you. And tells you so. Frequently. When you’re struggling, they speak life. Not happy-talk. Confident realism. They recognize things like nuance, the mundane, and the extraordinary, and provide balance with a side of up.

The older
Someone who’s older than you. Maybe by quite a bit. Someone whose life experiences and perspective provide credibility your age hasn’t yet realized. When they talk, you listen. Because your future is speaking.

The accountant
Someone who can shoot straight with you. They know your strengths and celebrate them. And know your weaknesses and discuss them, candidly and kindly. They strengthen what you’re good at and identify your blind spots because the light they shine is bright, compassionate, and thorough.

The lifer
Someone who’s committed to being your friend until they die or you die. Clear enough? You know their commitment because of both their words and actions. And more of the latter. They’re in it for the long haul because they’ve been in it for the long haul. Consistent. Steady. There. Forever.

The different
Someone who’s not like you. Hopefully, at all. Different views. Different background. Different thoughts. They don’t sing in your choir. And yet you recognize their humanity and worth. And that’s enough to relate. Deeply.

The windshield
Someone who focuses on forward. Especially when you’ve made a mess. Not because they minimize the mistakes, or ignore the consequences, but because they know onward is a choice and what’s behind you can’t be changed. They know when hope can help. And hand it to you.

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