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 The Friend Who Followed

by allinspiration.com

When Ray was about seven, he had a very close friend. Ray and Mike went to an all-boys school and were in the same class. Mike was to Ray what people would call the "best friend". They were still young, so they did not talk about money or girls or human relationships or the other complicated things in life. But they lived near each other, travelled to and from school together, played together, were together in school, and spent time in each others' homes.

Once, in school, Ray encountered an academic disappointment and was very down. He just walked round and round the school compound. Mike followed Ray. Far enough not to stifle him, but near enough never to let Ray out of his sight. Ray was very irritated at that time. He just wanted to be alone. At one point, he got so worked up that he even blurted out, "Just leave me alone!". But Mike just silently walked on behind Ray, still never uttering a word.

It was only after many years, almost two decades later, that Ray truely began to understand the profound lesson on friendship which had been shown to him that day. Ray and Mike had already drifted by then, barely seeing each a couple of times every year, and even then only in big groups of friends. But Ray still remembered that episode with gratitude, a warm feeling in his heart and sometimes tears in his eyes.

Mike had taught him that true friendship does not only show up when one wants or needs it. A true friend will be around when he thinks you need him, regardless of whether you want it or not or whether you would admit it or not. He will be there even when you chase him away, as long as he feels his presence will help you. But he will not speak if you do not want him to, he will give you the peace that you desire, and certainly he will not impose himself or his views on you. 

The true friend will do what Mike did, following a distance behind, giving you space and peace, but always nearby, casting a silent eye on you to make sure you are alright, that you do not do anything silly, making sure he is around if you need him, and being ready to pick you should you fall anytime, to wipe your tears should they flow.

Till this day, Ray is still grateful. And he will always be.

Appreciate your true friends.
And be a true friend to others.

 

 

 

 

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