Whether you’re disabled or athletic, cool or dorky, rich or poor, pretty or plain, having a wide array of friends in as many different occupational, vocational and professional capacities as possible is crucial part of life.
John Lennon said as much: “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
- Maybe because of my enjoyment of activities that are best done alone, like writing or preparing for another speaking gig,
- perhaps because of the solitude forced on me by the intense physical therapy that followed my motorcycle crash, or
- perhaps because humans are social creatures created for interaction,
Whatever the reason, I find myself feeling particularly grateful that I am blessed with an array of friends I would have a hard time doing life without.
On Forming Friendships
The most interesting thing I’ve discovered is the truth in Zig Ziglar’s comment that I began realizing after my disabling crash is: “If we go out looking for friends, they will be hard to find. But if we go out looking to be a friend, we will find them everywhere.”
A quote that wasn’t said in reference to friendship but has probably resulted in many healthy relationships, whether you’re disabled or not, was said by Ralph Waldo Emerson goes something like this: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way.”
Being a Friend
The reason Zig Ziglar’s mentioned comment resonates with me so well is because of how lonely I felt one year after my crash gave me the disability experience. The beautiful lady I’d known for several years and had become engaged to shortly before my crash had just broken up, I could barely walk or talk, I had no friends and no prospects.
At the time, I thought I wanted to die. But what I realized after a female undercover police officer talked me off a freeway overpass and put me in the back of a patrol car was that I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to quit hurting.
The first solution I thought of after being released from the psych ward was to visit my old stomping grounds: The rehab floor back at Harborview Hospital. There’s always somebody out there with more reason to feel bad. It’s impossible to feel sorry for myself when I’m encouraging someone else who’s facing even bigger obstacles.