A thought about friends and bridge burning…

It’s a sad day when you watch a friendship die. It has happened throughout my life, and somehow it always catches me by surprise. There should be a game show host announcing it, I am sure it would go something like this: “Oh snap! It’s happened again. He has been reduced to the lowest common denominator, and his ‘friend’ is gone like yesterday’s lunch!”

Ba-doosh.

Sometimes you are the fly, other times you are the windshield. However, my sadness forgotten for the moment, I have thought about the state of my friendships/personal relationships and my own cheerless disposition. 

It’s not that I am cheerless, nor am I constantly negative. It just seems that way. Life has a way of showcasing the negative, much like the media, and at times it is easy to focus on the worst attributes of humanity. 

There is plenty to live for, if you know where to look. Some places you may not wish to look for ‘positive energy’ is the past. We all evolve and the things that formed us into our current self is no longer a part of us. That’s why it is called the past.

Friends may become a permanent fixture in your life, or they may be seasonal. Some people just need a step to get out of the mire. Then they high step out of it and leave you there. Others extend a helping hand once they are back on their feet. 

Given those two scenarios it doesn’t change the fact that they were your friends. Some people still call you friend even when they no longer have contact with you, or years pass by without a word. “Yeah, I know them. They’re my friend.”

Others stay in touch and want to meet for lunch or hit a flea market. “Hey. Let’s go hit Goodwill,” they say. Both are friends, but some are closer than others. 

Years ago, I would have heartily recommended burning the bridge to those who are too busy to stay in contact. Heck, I might have even brought a couple of gallons of gasoline to throw on the fire. However, age has led me to understand that life, in all its messiness, is too short to hold on to a long-term grudge.

Besides, they will come back around. They always do. Chances are they will probably need something when they show back up. Don’t burn the bridge, leave it standing. Be the friend you wished they were. 

After all, that is what friends do.


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