Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
I want to talk to you about what makes a great friendship. We live in a time in which true friendships are rare. It’s seems that in the age of social media, you can be friends with someone one minute and then it disappears the next with one tweet, post, or view that is not the same. Things like social media and the instant world have made people more tribal and kept them from growing beyond a certain way of thinking or viewpoint and stifled being open and tolerant of others views. And in this world, true friendships become more and more rare.
You see, to have and build a true, life lasting friendship it takes work, commitment, a willingness to set aside each other’s faults and things you disagree with, and love. When I say love, I am not talking about romantic love, but a love and caring for your fellow man. An understand that everyone is different and won’t believe the same things – and that is OK. In fact, that is what makes life and friendship great. It saddens me that people don’t realize that they probably agree on 80% of more of things with others but let 1 or 2 differences keep them from having a friendship.
A great friendship has several elements at its core, and I want to go through them.
First, a great friendship has a deep commitment. A commitment to one another that you will care. A commitment that you can count on each other when in need. And a deep commitment to look out for each other and help each other – especially in the darkest times.
Second, a great friendship is built on trust. Trust that the other person will be honest and be there. Trust that you will not betray one another. And trust that, even in disagreement, the friendship will stand.
Third, a great friendship takes effort. In our world, it is very easy to neglect the effort part of friendship. In order to maintain a lasting friendship, you must make an effort to stay in touch, communicate regularly, and be there. I’m not talking about sending an email or a message through a social platform. I’m talking about taking time to get on the phone and have a great conversation. Scheduling time together, even if it is just a coffee. And showing genuine interest and care for the relationship, nurturing it over time.
And sometimes, it takes more effort from one side than the other. Sometimes, to be a great friend, you have to put in more of the work and effort to keep the friendship going. Sometimes, you have to speak hard truth and even act to help each other against what one may want. Think about someone who is an addict, whose true friends and family pull out all the stops to help them – even when they don’t think they need help.
True friends are always revealed in the darkest times. They will be there when you need them most. And in today’s world, as polarized as it is, true friends will remain friends even when they don’t disagree on things or have opposing views – because they know they AGREE on a hell of a lot more than they disagree on. They are not fickle.
For example, a true friend will not disown you for something like supporting a political candidate that they don’t. As we are in an election season, it’s amazing to see this happening all over the place and on places like social media – where people have been “friends” for years, but just because they disagree on a candidate, they are now sworn enemies. They were never friends to begin with.
Hannah, you will have friends come and go throughout your life, but there will be a few truly lasting friendships that you will find along the way. Cherish them. Commit to them. Trust in them. Put effort into them. These relationships are what make life so wonderful and exciting. Remember, in the end, all the money, possessions, and accolades mean nothing if you do not have those you truly love to enjoy and celebrate them with. Here’s to true, long-lasting friendships!
I love you,
Best Quote: To have and build a true, life lasting friendship it takes work, commitment, a willingness to set aside each other’s faults and things you disagree with, and love.
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