The Rules of Friendship
Rule 1: Loyalty
They say that a man’s best friend is his dog. You know why this saying stuck? It’s because there’s not an animal other more loyal than a dog. The dog will follow its owner to the gates of heaven or hell if necessary. We’ve all heard of the stories of a dog sitting on his owner’s grave after funeral or somebody returning home from 18 months in the military overseas in a dog’s the first to greet them. Loyalty is a lot more than what dog shows to its owner. Loyalty is about being next to somebody, your friend, during the good times and the bad. During the good times friends are all too easy to come by. Everybody around you wants to have the time and if you can provide that to be a best friend and until you can’t. True friends, loyal friends stick by each other when times turn bad. During the bad times, only a true friend want to help.
At the beginning of this past summer I was suffering from a personal crisis. I lost all confidence in myself because of the situation that I got myself into. I didn’t feel that I was able to get out of it by myself and I didn’t feel that I had anybody to help me. However, I did have that help that I was looking for because my friends stayed loyal to me. When I talked to them about my situation they were more than happy to help. Let me explain.
I was well on my way to become a doctor, a surgeon. I was 3 years into medical school and with only a year left most people would think it’s crazy to leave. Everyone around me thought I was nuts when I left school but I was really unhappy and I didn’t want to be there. It wasn’t a career that I saw myself doing any more. I had realized that I made a mistake by deciding to go in the first place. Almost nobody supported me in my decision. The only people that supported me were my most loyal friends. One of my friends went so far as to give me a pretty decent job after he saw me struggling to find one of my own. My girlfriend, who I have been dating for almost 7 years, was right next to me every step of the way.
These are the 2 people who prove themselves most loyal to me. They proved to me that they were real friends because they were there in my time of need. When I was in medical school and doing everything exactly how I wanted to do it and everything was going according to plan, I had friends all around me because they all wanted to be there when I started making “Doctor money”. When everybody realized that I wasn’t going to hit that salary level, everybody bailed except for a small few. That small few are the group of friends that I trust most. I swore to myself that I’ll be as loyal to them as they were to me.
Loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. Nobody becomes immediately loyal to a brand-new person they just met. It has to be developed and nurtured into something that’s true. You can’t force it to happen. If you have a friend who’s going through rough patch in their life, prove your loyalty to them and stick with them until things get better again. When things get better again you will be right there because the want you there. Things will improve because your friend will have help. Very few people can do this on the wrong everybody usually needs a helping hand. I certainly did they brought before that I ever thought I’d get after I left school.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask a friend if they need help. You need to let them know that you’re going to be there no matter what. Even if they don’t say they need help when they might, the fact that they know you are available to help them may one day lead them to ask you for help.
What experiences do you guys have with loyal friends? Do you guys have any stories where you or someone else proved their loyalty? What about something that happened throughout history that demonstrated loyalty that we can learn from? Comment below and talk about it in the forums.