I just re-read ‘The Penny’ by Joyce Meyer and I guess I learnt more than I bargained. The first time I read the book was about three years ago and when I thought about what examples to set for meaningful friendships, I remembered Ms. Shaw. The story in summary was about a fourteen year old who found her way to God after a chain reaction that resulted from picking up a penny. The story is one of those that will cause you to empathize, sympathize and make you realize just how broken this world is. However, you would find strength in the main character, Jenny’s journey and maybe shed a tear (I personally needed a lot of tissues). The story highlights the importance of meaningful relationships. Jenny who had spent her entire life scared of the shame that had come with her situation, found God. She found God not just in the mysterious Ms Shaw who was adamant about hiring a girl she did not know, but also in the black family who took her in and showed her how God loves her and expects her to be loved.
A famous quote says ‘friends will either make you or mar you’ so it is important to be around people who will give value to your life. At some point in time when we face discouragement or fear, the input of a friend, a few words, and a nice gesture from a true friend will remind us that we do not have to do everything alone.
While it is important to have friends, it is important to make the right friends because your friends will make up who you turn out to be. Some of the most successful businesses today were founded by friends and have thrived for so long. A few of
such are companies like Apple (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak), Twitter (Evan Williams and Biz Stone), Procter and Gamble, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.
If you don’t make friends that are going in your direction, you would end up distracting each other or not going anywhere at all. Arnold H. Glasgow said “A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”
So I urge you to not only find and keep meaningful relationships but also to cut-off meaningless friendships. Friendship is beautiful only when it is meaningful.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
– Albert Schweitzer