“Our friends and family members rarely shout the loudest to demand our attention, and so it can be tempting for us to place those relationships on the back burner. But if we neglect the people we ought to care about most, we may find that when crisis hits, and we need the support of our friends and family, we are alone.”- Ken Shigematsu
Ken Shigematsu concludes Chapter 9 of Survival Guide for the Soul as he notes that in our industrialized Western world, people fail to value friendships above their career choices. For example, the Greek philosopher Socrates, writing in the fourth century, observed the following. Although people claim a good friend is the best possession, they most concern themselves with acquiring material things. Like houses, fields, and slaves.
However, a mentor of Ken’s astutely notes the following. You’ll have all the friends you need if you become the friend your heart longs for. Hence, you must take the initiative to invest in relationships with your friends and family. Thus, Hugo Black explains why we must put forth this effort:
“We would like to get the good of our friends, without burdening ourselves with any responsibility about keeping those friends. The commonest mistake we make is that we spread our intercourse over a mass, and have no depth of heart left. We lament that we have no staunch and faithful friend, when we have really not expended the love which produces such. We want to reap what we have not sown.”
In conclusion, Ken revisits the story of the twenty-six Japanese martyrs. He stresses how these martyrs remained faithful, even when that faithfulness meant death. Along that six-hundred mile, nearly month-long trek, the pilgrims constantly encouraged one another to remain steadfast. Because one must practice the Christian faith as a team race. Rather than a solo trek.
Today’s question: What key relationships have you placed on the back burner? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “My life telling me who I am – listen!”