Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Loss of Friendship
Several years ago, a group of my students wrote a letter of affirmation for me and to me. It used a number of superlatives, which, I take it, expressed the sentiments one lead student.
Now, years later, I read that statement with divided emotions. I am grateful that these students expressed their thanks to me in this endearing and enduring way, hyperbole aside. Yet, as I look down the roster of names, I find a few close friends; but only a few of these students are still in contact with me; some I have not heard from in years; and at least one, I'm sure, would like to remove his or her name from the letter at this point, largely because of disagreements with me that emerged over the years.
Friendship is fragile. Affirmations of praise are easy to give, if one has the facility. Effusion is easier than commitment. The Bible speaks of a friend who is closer than a sibling. But this is so rare nowadays. How can it be recovered?