The Power of a Friend

Katelyn - Rocklin, California
Entered on September 11, 2008

I believe that a smile has great power and that the greatest thing we can do for someone is to simply be their friend. Everyone in this world needs a friend. We need someone that we can confide in; someone that we can relate to. No one wants to be alone; no one wants to walk this earth without feeling that there is someone who needs them too. Friends provide us with that sense of belonging that we all need.

I remember one Sunday I was sitting in church, kind of dazing off and then something caught my attention. The girl that was speaking was sharing a story of a young man who felt lost and alone. He was ignored, teased, and did not have anyone who he could call his friend. This young man decided that he was going to take his life and so he emptied his entire locker and began walking home. On his way home from school, some classmates ran, by him knocking his books out of his hands and then ran away laughing at him. Another young man saw this and immediately his heart went out to the little boy. He approached the poor little boy, handed him his glasses, and helped him gather his books. He then introduced himself and asked him if he would like to come to his house. They became best friends that day…

It was that same day that the previously lonely little boy decided to spare his life. Because of that one young man’s choice to be his friend, to recognize him, and to smile at him, that boy’s life was saved. The same boy who was going to commit suicide, later became the most popular senior guy, the biggest crush, the valedictorian and he after high school he was going on to Georgetown to become a doctor. With the help of his friend, he had found himself during high school.

This story really hit me hard. I wondered how many people I have walked by, in my own little world, and not noticed their gloom expression and shared with them a friendly smile. How many potential friendships I have passed up? I believe that a friend knows what really makes us smile. A friend knows us for who we truly are and loves us despite all of our weakness. A true friend will glorify our strengths and defend our weaknesses. A friend is there when we have reached the mountain peaks of our lives and also when we have fallen and cannot seem to rise again.

Friends come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and backgrounds but they all have such incredible worth. Those things in our life that we cannot walk into the local store and purchase are the objects that give us the greatest happiness and this includes our friends. They are a priceless gift, a necessary gift. I’m sure that day, that young man who helped this lonely little boy did not realize the power of his friendly smile and helping hand. I believe that to be someone’s friend is perhaps the greatest thing we can do for them.