Do you find it easy to appreciate the difficult people in your life?

Well, everyone can be difficult at times. In fact, I believe that we might value those in our lives not by the easy times, the free times, the times of joy, but more sensibly by the difficult times, the times of sorrow. What quality is there to measure love by, what quality more readily marks the grace that a... show more Well, everyone can be difficult at times. In fact, I believe that we might value those in our lives not by the easy times, the free times, the times of joy, but more sensibly by the difficult times, the times of sorrow. What quality is there to measure love by, what quality more readily marks the grace that a loving heart displays, save for the patience we have for the failures of our friends?

Failure? Yes, we are never more human than when we fail.

I am reminded, as I sit this evening, watching an interview with Patti Smith about her memoir of her early years with the very difficult Robert Mapplethorpe, "Just Kids", that a true friend is precious because they see us at our most vulnerable, they see our failure. What good is a friend who is only there for us when we are at our best? Friendship can not be qualified on the basis of our best selves, but more correctly, on the basis of our ugliest self, that monstrous person that we face in solitude. Maybe not complete solitude. Maybe with a good friend, or two.

Friendship, love, companionship...these things are, we are told, marked by heady joys. We have been misinformed. Friendship is a difficult, prickly thing. I truly believe that the most consideration we can ask of our loved ones is that they hurt us in the gentlest fashion possible. The hurt will be there, friendship or no; that's how life is. We are so very human, so limited, so prone to failure, so hurtful. A friend is gentle with the hurt they dispense, however. A friend acknowledges this truth: We are, all of us, more than likely to show those closest to us our worst, rather than our best. A friend sees the quality in the worst we have to bring, however. A friend understands that we hurt each other, unnecessarily, but inevitably. A friend understands that there is worth in this, and stays to see the finish. A friend sees that we never hurt, either ourselves or others, alone.

Ah, those friends I have, be tender, compassionate, in how you wound me, and I promise to do the same for you. I'm not really a good person at all, and neither are you...but we are good together, don't you think? Let's count our wounds and scars and appreciate the grace, the style, the thought, that went into each and every one. It's an honor to have a scar from such a person of quality, my friend.


Well, these are my thoughts. As for you, do you find it easy to appreciate the difficult people in your life?
Update: Ah, Shinigami, you write of putting on a show, a strong front...well, this is, I think, part of the problem we all have, a problem culture and society have burdened us with. We all strive to be strong. So many have worked so hard to know how to be strong. The real thing we should work on, however...is how to be... show more Ah, Shinigami, you write of putting on a show, a strong front...well, this is, I think, part of the problem we all have, a problem culture and society have burdened us with. We all strive to be strong. So many have worked so hard to know how to be strong.

The real thing we should work on, however...is how to be weak. Most people haven't a clue.
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