Friendship – May 4, 2011

Last week I was fortunate enough to take a few days away from Beechwood and go to Mexico to be with some dear, old friends. For over 10 years now, we have gone away together in the spring to eat, golf, sit in the sun and enjoy each other’s company. I realize as I write this, that I have know some of these guys for 35 years now! Wow. I don’t feel that old, but I guess I am.

As I flew home last night, I reflected on these amazing friendships, and, as is often the case, how it applies to the work we do at Beechwood. If I had my way, every one of our students would emerge into adulthood with the kind of friendships that have provided such happiness and joy in my own life.

As adults, part of our obligation is to help our children see the value of friendship and to help them understand what is involved in building a meaningful relationship. Please look for opportunities to pass along what you have learned about friendship to your children. We will do the same here at Beechwood.

Here are a few things that I have learned:

1. A good friend, is a good listener.

2. A good friend is generous and does not “keep score” of which of you has been the most generous.

3. A good friend is there in a time of need.

4. A good friend knows what makes you laugh and what you are scared of.

5. A good friend can be trusted.

6. A good friend is not afraid to tell you the truth, even if it hurts a little bit.

7. A good friend knows that they have to share you with other people.

As it is with all life lessons we want to pass on to our children, modeling is the most powerful tool. If your children see that you have healthy friendships, they will learn from your example.

On the last night of our trip, as we dined together, my friend Mark C. reminded my friend Mark L. about how he had come with him to the hospital to be with his mother just before she died. By the end of the recollection, both Mark’s were in tears, remembering that day and how they were there for each other during that difficult time.

As a wise person once said of our journey through life, “It’s not all cherry pie.” As we get older we realize more and more, that this sometimes difficult experience is a lot easier with good friends to help us find our way.

-Mr. Laurance