The Power Of Friendship

This following story was read to me by my son. He was sent it through Facebook. We couldn’t find the source until I searched outside of Facebook. From what I could find out, it apparently originated in a story told by J.W. Schlatter, published in the bestseller ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’. I remember reading some of these books years ago and having a good cry at the beauty contained in some of their true stories. I recommend you try to get a hold of them. In this story, the original boys were Mark and Bill and apparently the talk was held in private and not revealed in a valedictorian speech.

I share it because it ties together a few of my recent posts….the ones about suicide and the single one about friendship…….Here the power of friendship is truly revealed and the power of one human being to make an enormous difference in the life of another.

The Story of Kyle

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.”

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up, and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So I jogged over to him, and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before, but we talked all the way home, and I carried his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes.

We hung out all weekend, and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

On graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech, so I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach — but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.” I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.”

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture, you can change a person’s life.

I need say no more….go well, live well and try to be aware of how powerful you are in affecting those around you in every moment. Regards Leanne

A Watershed Moment

The sounds in the silence

About mindfulness4now

Hello and welcome. I am mother, step mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend. My passions are my spirituality, life and people, reading, meditation and mindfulness, writing/journalling. I also love food, coffee, photography, and travel(near,far and off-road). I also have an interest in health(especially mental health). Welcome to my musings on life's journey.
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16 Responses to The Power Of Friendship

  1. Maria Sawszak says:

    Yes, I do remember the story of Kyle, from many years ago. Have just stopped the tears to thank you for all your inspiring blogs, messages, sharing. My amazing writer!

  2. Tears for me too. A wonderful story, and can’t be repeated often enough – lovely post again Leanne

  3. brettbatten says:

    Great post Leanne, any one of us could be Kyle and we should all be like his friend.

  4. This made me cry. I couldn’t quite believe it – what a wonderful, lucky story.

  5. I had read this before but had forgotten about it….thank you for posting this and it made me cry too at the realization of how a simple gesture can change someone’s path for the better….a lesson that we can’t hear enough….

  6. Aww, crying – good tears though. Such a touching story…

  7. This is truly wonderful, Thanks and greetings to you and yours.

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