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How does one define "friendship"? Is it like: "Two birds of a feather stick togehter"? I guess so. We choose friends to be similar to what we are, not alike, just similar.

How do we know, someone is a true friend? We don´t - ever! What we see is how a person acts, and we might be convinced that this guy or gal is our friend - but we can never be sure .... unless friendship is proven, unless we have gone through hard times and did prevail because a friend jumped in to support us.

Let me tell you a true story - about a true friend:
When I went to the United States in 1963 I was all by myself, no family, no friends. When I left the USA after my exchange year I had won one true friend - for life!

One day, when I walked to school, a guy stopped at the curb and asked me if I needed a ride home. I accepted and jumped in. Wow, a 63´ convertible, one of those you see in James-Dean-movies (which is great now, but at that time it was just what the cars were like, no big deal). I got my ride home, and next morning the car pulled up into my foster parent´s driveway, Jim - which was his name - picked me up for school. To make the long story short: This went on every day, until my last day in High-School, i.e. Gouverneur Senior High, GHS.

From late August 1963 to June 1964 we got to be the best buddies in the world, went through a lot of good and bad times, got into trouble here and there, but our friendship grew from day to day. We both had a few "affairs", nothing really serious, nothing that kept us from fishing, movies and parties. We even played in the Senior "Drama" together. Jim won the "Deanonian", a speech contest, I had to do a lot of speeches for clubs like the LIONS, ROTARY, 4H, "Future Homemakers of America" etc., we sat in front of the TV together in late ´63, when President Kenndy was asassinated, when the news about American soldiers getting killed in Vietnam started to appear on TV.

We knew, it would be hard to part, to let go and both live on different continents after June ´64! We made plans how to keep contact, who was going to visit whom at which time - but fate would have it - it was all futile!

I had two more years to go to School in Gemany, Jim went to the Navy, we had lots of changes of address - and finally my mail kept coming back "return to sender, recipient unknown"! We had lost touch, ouch!

OK, let me tell you, how we got in touch again: It was due to the INTERNET! I learned that one was able to search for people at US-telephone sites. I did. I found my good old buddy, who was - again - living in the State of New York, after he had been in West Virginia and Washington (State!). So much luck. We made plans to see each other, talked on the phone for hours, on the internet, too.

How do I know he is still my best friend? He would go out of his way to support me, just like he did the first few months when I decided to live in the USA for some time - maybe forever.

After we had not seen each other for more than 30 years, I was living in his house, drove one of his cars, got help in whatever situation I needed it, got advice how to do things and active help to set up an account at a local bank, to get a place to live in, to get a phone, to get a driver´s license - I could go on like this, it would be the longest list ever.

How many of you would do a thing like this? How many of you would open your house to a friend after 30 years "no see"? Think about it, and you will understand what "true" friendship is. Thanks again, Jim, God bless you!

That´s it for today, sorry, no "remarks" tomorrow, the next topic will be on on Sunday and it will be "Bemerkungen zu Hindernissen / Rermarks about Obstacles." In English again, to acquaint you with changing languages .... see you!

"We shall overcome .... some day", that´s what made people tick in the sixties - but did it really happen, did they reach the goals they had, did they succeed in overcoming the obstacles society, the gouvernment, the establishment had in store for them?

The flower-power-days are over, history. Nothing achieved, war wherever you look, the world is a mess, imperialism stronger than ever: "The Preventive Strike" substitutes decent politics and reason.

Do we have an obligation to try and change things, to push harder to get the obstacles out of our way?

Let me compare the energy we have in early stages of our lives to a battery - no, not the rechargeable type, one of those old-fashioned ones you buy, use and then throw away. Whenever we engage in bringing about changes we use up some of our energy. This drains our battery, we have a little less left to use. Now this goes on for years, and, depending on how much and how often we try to do things, the battery looses power. Sooner or later we realize how much has gone already - and that we need to be careful to keep whatever is left or at least use it more economically in the time to come - because we do not want the battery to be totally out of power before time.

But what about the obstacles in this world? Did they get less on the way? Maybe to a certain degree, but not much at all. Do I feel bad about not "stopping it all"? No, there´s a generation after mine, waiting to use up their batteries!

Get at it, start doing it, but ask yourself - whatever you want to do - is it worth the energy?

The next topic will be Bemerkungen über Zimmerpflanzen. Sorry, tomorrow´s "remarks" in German only .... bye!




24. Sep. 2018, 05:50

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