I watch my grandchildren, who are four and five years old, and the love they have for everyone they meet is obvious in their smiles. Their love is not tainted by anything that seems to bias our emotions later in life. My granddaughter Emmilou was sitting on my lap a few weeks ago when she looked up at me with the eyes of an angel and said, “Papa, I love you so much,” followed by “Papa, you’re fat.” I laughed, and thought, I’ll take those comments any day. The honesty of a child is unquestioned, and the love they’ll give you is priceless, and all you have to do is love them back.
As we grow older however, our prejudices, biases, and other nasty personality traits make us adult monsters that we hadn’t intended on becoming. As a result, we’re missing out on many friendships because of our undesirable adult mindsets.
As a law school graduate, I’ve noticed that we treat friendships as contracts. If the contract is mutually accepted, and there is a benefit to both parties, then the friendship remains intact. When the first person does not benefit the other, the contract is breached, and the friendship is over. How silly is this?
I don’t have many friends left in my life because for years I alienated many for selfish reasons. These few friends accepted me, even when I was a jerk, and there will never be a bond any stronger than I have with them. These are the friends you may not go to every day, but you can bet your last dollar that they’ll be there when the storm hits.
Love is the main theme of the Bible, and what bigger friend do we have than the One who gave His only son for our sins. Let’s find our childhood heart and throw some Jesus-strong love out there!
That love is the key to lasting friendships.
Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and author. His book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com.