The Noble Friend
Dec 23, 2018
When I need perspective, I call my noble friend.
The other night I asked her, “Do you think it's ok to block someone from social media whose values don’t match up with mine anymore? What do you think?”
After forty years of friendship, she will tell me.
She said, “Sometimes God gives us a gift, a clear message. When we don’t listen, he doesn’t always say it again.”
I thought about those words this morning. Yes, I thought. It takes a while to learn.
As I sat with my noble friend, I was grateful for our connection. We are an oasis for each other. The words of my noble friend are not always what I hope to hear, but I trust her wisdom, and her spiritual path.
She gives me perspective, or light, and validates my inner world, the one I work so hard to protect. At that point, things shift, settle, and feel aligned.
Life feels more manageable and saner again.
For this holiday I will count my noble friends and keep them close.
For it is the noble friend who keeps the high watch.
The other evening, I met a dear friend at a hotel to catch up.
We were discussing the challenges of keeping perspective in troubling times.
She mentioned the importance of “noble friends” and her gratitude for them.
She said, “You know, the friends that keep the high watch.”
Noble friends are the ones we turn to when we’re conflicted in our resolve. They're the counterweights, the ones we lean on when we're confused or frightened. Or when we take a stand and feel as though we're standing alone.
Not long ago, I had the feeling that my values were aligned with other people I respected. We could argue fine points, knowing we agreed on the facts and on our shared values. Lying was bad, cheating was bad, stealing was bad, corruption was bad. Manipulating was bad too, but in some cases, like avoiding a nuclear war, it could be a grey area. When we made mistakes we could course correct, and avoid repeating the mistake.
I’m not sure when clean air and clean water became debatable, or when groping and threatening women became acceptable, or at what time in our history our children faced a more uncertain future.
Sometimes I feel dispirited. I want to ask, or make suggestions, but finding common ground with someone we love can result in an argument that can clear a room faster than the plague.