Constantly we are reminded not to waste. Thru hundreds of famous quotations and proverbs such as:
1. Haste makes waste
2. Waste Not Want Not
3. A mind is a terrible thing to waste
4. A favour ill placed is great waste.
5. Though you live near a forest, do not waste firewood.
6. Youth is wasted on the young.
And my all time favorite: A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Day to day our governments and industry leaders spend millions of dollars to campaign against wasting resources such as natural fuels, trees, water and other natural resources that many believe are depleting beyond recovery.
I will spend the next few minutes trying to persuade you to participate in activities that counter wasting a very special resource.
No, I am not going to preach to you about wasting time, nor am I going to rant on about wasting money.
I want to help you think about not wasting away a personal and valuable resource – our friendships.
Friendships start at a young age in families, day cares and nurseries. Then our friendships increase and change as we grow up and enter school, college, and the working world. In some cases we are able to retain our early friendships. Some of us still have childhood friends from various activities such as Boy scouts, high school and college.
It is a natural progression of life for our friends to change. Let me repeat this – It is a natural progression of life for our friends to change.
In many cases our friends change as we age, change schools, go to college, start and change careers, get married, raise a family and move around the country or world.
I personally know hundreds of people that today I consider my friends. Look there are over 10 in this room.
I still have friends who I went to Kindergarten with, friends from Elementary School, High School and college. I have friends I have met thru my parents and friends I have met around the world in business and personal travel.
I have friends from my first job, my first professional career move and from the charitable events I participate in over the last 20 years.
Now – I also remember hundreds of people who I used to consider a friend and because of the normal progression of life our lives have separated and friendships have waned. – This is OK
There are however – examples of changes of friendship beyond the natural progression of life that are necessary.
These include the loss of a friendship because of unethical behavior or activities that causes pain and suffering to others.
However for the most part – losing a friend for reasons beyond the natural progression of life is what I consider a waste.
Friendship is a gift that allows us to accept their individuality and uniqueness. If we can not accept our friend’s uniqueness – we waste a friendship
Friendship permits us to discuss or debate and even passionately argue our opinions and then continue considering each other a friend; albeit a friend with a different opinion. If we can not accept our friend’s opinions – we waste a friendship.
Friendship allows us to permit our friends to point out our mistakes and then help us to correct them. If we can not accept criticism or help from our friends – we waste a friendship.
Friendship allows our friends to have other friends, different than us. If we can not accept this – we waste a friendship.
Friendship allows us to accept that our friends may have different priorities than we do. Not accepting this can cause us to waste a friendship.
Loosing a friend because of differences of opinion, life styles, social standing or jealousy are typical causes of friendship waste.
Marital status, ethical career choices and financial issues are even more examples of friendship waste.
There is no government agency or industry watchdog group measuring the waste of friendships.
There is no census bureau data that show the yearly statistics of Friendship waste.
Teenagers track their friends on their Instant Message listing and in their diaries
College students use a web site to track their growing and changing list of friends.
Some of us adults in business use our contact listings or address books to track our friends.
How painful it must feel to delete a record from these listings especially when the person was once a friend.
Tonight as you sit and ponder your day or prepare for a good nights rest – review this listing of definitions to What is
A Friend and then think –
What can I do to keep from wasting a friendship?
What is a Friend?
Free to be yourself with, just the way you are
Ready to tell your most private thoughts to
Inspired by when you are feeling down
Eager to listen to as well as talk to
Never going to forget no matter what
Dependent on for advice and support
· A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway. – Jerome Cummings
· Only your real friends tell you when your face is dirty. – Sicilian Proverb
· What is a friend? I will tell you…it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself. – Frank Crane
· A good friend remembers what we were and sees what we can be. – Unknown
· A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. – Walter Winchell
· The only way to have a friend is to be one. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
· A friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be somewhere else. – Unknown
· In a friend you find a second self. – Isabelle Norton
· The better you know someone, the less there is to say. Or maybe, there’s less that needs to be said. – Unknown
· A friend loveth at all times. – Proverbs 17:17
· Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness… – Richard Bach
· A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. – Unknown
· Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows. – Unknown
· Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait to hear the answer. – Unknown
· The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. – Unknown
· A friend is someone who reaches out for your hand…and touches your heart. – Unknown
· How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to. – Unknown
· Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. – Unknown
· Love is temporary…but friends are forever. – Kelly Wheeler
· Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. – Helen Keller
· You only meet your once in a lifetime friend… once in a lifetime. – Little Rascals
· no man is useless while he has a friend. – Robert Louis Stevenson
· The friendship that can cease has never been real. – Saint Jerome
· Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. – Aristotle
· Friends are born, not made. – Henry Adams
· A circle is round it has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend! – Anonymous
· To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world. – Unknown
· It takes years to build up trust, and just seconds to destroy it. – Unknown
· No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some kind of mark on it forever. – Unknown
· Friends are the bacon bits in the salad bowl of life. – Unknown
· When a friend’s in trouble, don’t insult him by asking what you can do, think for yourself and start doing it. – Unknown
· Silence is the true friend that never betrays. -Confucius
· Love is blind, but friendship closes its eyes. -Unknown
· Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow ~ don’t walk behind me, I may not lead ~ Just walk beside me and be my friend. -Unknown
· A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
· My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, then you’ve had a great life. -Lee Iacocca
· Hold a true friend with both your hands. -Nigerian Proverb
· Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. -Albert Schweitzer
· Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? -Abraham Lincoln
· You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. -Dale Carnegie
· A brother is not always a friend, but a friend is always a brother. – Unknown
· Never hurt your friends, not even in a joke. – Unknown
· A friendship that stops existing was actually never there. – Unknown
· One loyal friend is better than ten thousand family members. – Unknown
· He who searches for friends without faults, will never have a friend. – Unknown
· You will never have a perfect friendship, but you must strive for one. – Unknown
· A person who has no friends lives only half way. – Unknown
· Be careful of what you say, friendship can end in one minute because of a stupid word. – Unknown
· Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life. – Unknown
· Friends are the angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly. – Unknown
· Wherever you may be it is your friends who make your world. – Unknown
· I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh. But I never knew looking back on the laughs would make me cry. – Unknown
· He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
· If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I would not follow; I would be at the bottom to catch them when they fall. – Unknown
· A friend in need is a friend indeed. – Latin Proverb
· A good friend is my nearest relation. – Unknown
· The death of a friend is equivalent to the loss of a limb. – German Proverb
· Life without a friend is like death without a witness. – Spanish Proverb
· The best mirror is an old friend. – Unknown
· Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose. – Tehyi Hsieh
· There is no hope of joy except in human relations. – Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
· The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man’s success in life. – Edward Everett Hale
· Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
· The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this? – Henry David Thoreau
· Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity, as the water that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter. – James Fennimore Cooper
· Friendship without self interest is one of the rare and beautiful things in life. – James Francis Byrnes
· Best friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like leaves, found everywhere. – Unknown