Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing

Classmates @ Grand America Hotel in 2007
Met up with a few classmates after 20 years @ Grand America in SLC.

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sang about love in their classic hit of the same title and in a roundabout way I guess my post today is about the same thing. I love all people, but I have a special affinity for and of people who are genuine.

All too often we hear people say things like, “We should hang out some time,” or “Let’s do something,” or any other of vague statement that gives one the impression that you’re actually interested in spending time cultivating a relationship. I confess, I’ve been a culprit myself and looking back now I realize that in the cases where I most often said or did things like this it was generally because I was trying to be someone I really wasn’t or could ever be.

Oh the power of self-examination and introspection!

I’m a point in life now where I finally know who I am. I’m beginning to understand my limitations. I’m comfortable in my own skin. It’s taken a lifetime of learning but I feel like I’ve finally arrived. And that has been one of the primary purposes of writing this blog. To help people (especially young people) avoid the pitfalls and detours I had to take as well as the consequences that accompany those decisions.

I love sincerity. I’ve deal with enough insincere people in my life to the difference between someone who is genuine and someone who is an imitation of “the real thing” or real love and compassion for a person. It’s an acquired skill to be genuine because it’s so easy to be otherwise.

I haven’t conducted any scientific studies or polled any random populations about it but my overall feeling is that there are very few genuine people out there. Am I one of them I wonder?

All is not lost! There are some people that I’ve known for many years who have always been incredible, awe inspiring examples of sincerity. One of them is a dear friend from high school. Those of us who know him well refer to him simply as “Ta”, a pet name a younger sibling gave him because she couldn’t pronounce his real name.

Ta is one of those souls God placed on earth to teach the rest of us what charity, trust, confidence and friendship is all about. I have encountered a lot of people with good hearts and a kind disposition but I’ve rarely met someone to rival Ta’s goodness. I’ve never met a soul who has met Ta who does not instantly feel a kinship and an immediate bond with him. Why? because when Ta says something you know instantly that it comes from his heart. There are no ulterior motives, he wants nothing in return and he keeps his word.

Classmates meet again after 20 years
With our spouses (2007) - Still true friends today

I often feel in my heart a desire to be more like Christ. Ta not only has that desire, he lives it. There are others like him in my tiny circle of friends. Some I’ve known for many years, others I’ve know for just a season. When I see them or hear a familiar voice in a crowd I’m reminded of their random acts of kindness and a knowledge that no matter where I go in the world I know that I can depend on the love and friendship of true friends.

I made it a goal a long time ago that I want to be the kind of friend that people can rely on in times of peril or even in those moments when everything is going well but you just need an hour and a kind ear to vent your frustrations. Life is not meant to be encumbered by betrayal or the misdeeds of others and carrying the burden of those offences whether it is real or perceived. I hope my family members and my to friends know that they can always count on me for support and love because that’s what being real is really all about.

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