Sitting on the grass cross-legged in the warm sun we braided bits of colored string into Friendship Bracelets. I wore that Friendship Bracelet in the shower, while playing and doing chores. Grime collected in between the strands and the colors dulled. I wore it until that bracelet fell off and we moved onto new fads.
Memories are scarce of the friendship, but the bracelet made an impression. It’s symbolic of a friendship I yearned to experience and did at times with different people. Some friends challenged me. Others, like me, fed on crumbs. We worked only as hard as we had to in school. No one seemed inclined to keep each other accountable or encourage each other towards loftier goals.
So many of the people who attended high school with me did school plays, worked in student government, and worked hard, planning for college and filling out the paperwork for scholarships. I hid in the library, read books at lunch, and during class. Even now I wonder why I didn’t work harder to make better grades? There were moments.
I found the courage to try out for the Valentine Court and once walked into the counseling office to fill out a scholarship form. Bright moments of determination stayed beneath layers of apathy. Often, I wished I had people around me that encouraged me to succeed.
If we hang out with people who expect very little from us, we will accomplish very little in our lives. But if we surround ourselves with people of wisdom, courage, love, and laughter, the accountability will keep us focused and living rather than hiding from life. People I know live as if the very effort to do the right thing isn’t worth working towards. So they give up and accept the status quo. They remain bottom feeders, seeking crumbs, and fear the future dragging others to their level so they won’t be alone. Beware of them. It is but a friendship bracelet that will fall a part. A real friendship sticks with you long after the colors fade and isn’t afraid to tell you when you are wrong.
Describe your life now. Are you where you want to be in life?