Monday, August 29, 2011

Being a friend...

One thing about life that I’ve noticed is that it takes years to build something, then often only a second or two to completely destroy it. This is true on for so many different aspects of our lives. Many people spent years building a retirement fund, only to have the economy crash and it all disappear before their eyes. Some people build homes, then a disaster takes it all away. Many people spend years forging what seems to be an unbreakable friendship, only to have one moment take it all away. It doesn’t seem fair right? How so many good things can be undone by one thing? For the people that lost their retirement funds, they can reinvest and hopefully work back out of it. For the people that lose a home, hopefully there is an insurance policy that will kick in and help them rebuild. For the people that have a friendship ruined, well if they are extremely lucky they have a friend that is a good enough person to let them try and make it up to them.

Many times throughout my life I have made someone mad, yet I’ve never had a friendship truly ruined. I have been blessed with some of the greatest people anyone could ever ask for as friends. But the problem is, I never should have had to hope those friends were gracious enough to let me back in. As I thought about is blog post for a while before writing it I wasn’t entirely sure what to say. I mean I knew I wanted to write it to apologize to everyone, and point out my screw ups while trying to truly show how special these people are for not just forgetting about me all together. But how can you show someone’s heart through writing without saying names? And how can I recount all the times I have come so close to screwing up with simple words? I realized that there is simply no way this blog could ever truly fulfill its purpose because I am not capable of putting these sentiments into words.

One underlying theme in all of my screw ups with friends however is trust. Trust is one of those things I mentioned in the first paragraph. It takes years to build, and one fleeting second to lose. However, there is no insurance policy, or often times even the opportunity to work out of a lost trust. If trust is lost, everything is lost. This presents a major problem for me, because I NEVER trust people. I am one of the most untrusting people in the entire world, and I always assume that people should prove to me that they deserve to be trusted. Then once they prove it, they should prove it again. And again. And again. When in all reality, I should trust people way sooner than I do. I am the one that shouldn’t be trusted usually. Very rarely have I had a friend break my trust, yet all too often I break theirs. Many times I have had the chance to just trust someone, but instead I require proof and it turns out badly. For instance, one of my friends recently was out with a group of people. I knew my friend was capable of taking care of themselves, I knew that they were responsible and didn’t need me to take care of them. However, I didn’t trust in them to make the right decisions. I thought that there was no way a good choice would be made if I wasn’t there to help them make it. Instead of letting them be the person I knew they would be, I insisted on checking in and smothering them, all under the pretense of being a good friend. A good friend? Ha that’s a joke right there, if I were half the friend I thought I was I wouldn’t have had to check on them, I would have just trusted them. Unfortunately for me, that little mistake might have cost me one of my most cherished friendships.

Why is it so hard for me to just believe in people? Have I been let down one too many times? Have people too many times not lived up to the expectations I have of them? The answer is no. The people I am friends with have never let me down, and always live up to way beyond the expectations. The simple truth of the matter is, I am a terrible friend. I have all of these amazing people in my life, and I always, without a doubt, 100% of the time, let them down. I am the one that shouldn’t be trusted. I am the one that people should have to look out for and make sure I don’t screw things up with them. I practically need a life manager to run my daily affairs and conversations so that I can keep friends. Yet for some reason they never leave me.

So I know at this point you are all wandering what exactly I am writing about. Is it about ruining bank accounts, homes burning to the ground, insurance policies, ruining friendships or what exactly? Why did I just write 870 words without giving you a purpose for this blog? That’s because this blog was written as an apology. It’s an apology to all the people that I have let down. It’s an apology to the people that I haven’t trusted when I should have. It’s an apology to the people that I am going to let down in the future. But most importantly it’s an apology to my friends for not being the type of person that I am capable of being, and for not being the friend that I should be. It’s often times been said that friends and family are the most important things in life, and I truly believe that. Therefore, I’m going to work on being the friend that others are to me. I’m going to put the same amount of trust in them that they put in me, it should strengthen our friendships and make me a better person. After awhile, I’ll be able to look at this life and know that I am putting in the same amount I am getting out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it was scarcely worth his while

To waste old violin, but held it up with a smile

Some people know me as a state officer, others know me as the kid who never applied himself much, some know me as the son of two wonderful parents, one of the many Norwoods, and some know me as a hell raising college student. But regardless of whom you know me as; the one that that holds true is that I have always known the way to make everything in my life fall back into place. From time to time we all get a little bogged down in life, and we all need a helping hand.

“What am I bidden, good folks?” he cried.

“Who’ll start the bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar, then, two? Two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; going for three….”

There are so many things today that can get a person down. The economy sucks, unemployment is at one of the all time highs, and for many people there is always too much month at the end of the money. On top of all of those things crime is up 60% in most of America, and we are fighting wars in multiple countries. It makes a person wonder how much of a mess the human race can possibly turn this world into.

But no, from the back , a grey-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low, said:

“What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once; three thousand twice;

And going and gone.” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand, what changed its worth?”

I believe that in life everyone has a rock to lean on. Some people have a spiritual rock, others have a person that they can always lean on. But when the going gets tough there is that one thing. Lately I have been feeling a little out of sorts. I am no longer the state officer, no longer a kid who doesn’t apply himself, at times wonder if I’m letting my parents down, and other times hope I’m not shaming the family name. I’ve been raising a little too much hell as a college student, and not keeping my life in order like I should be on a daily basis. I’m not saying that I am doing anything terrible by any means, but for a kid who has been told he is destined to make something of himself by everyone his entire life, well am I living up to those expectations? Most of the time; I can honestly say, no I’m not. I haven’t been applying myself as much as I could, when I’ve had chances to lead, I’ve followed. When I had a chance to stand up and be recognized I’ve crouched in the corner and hoped no one saw me. I’ve had the chance to dance to my own tune, but instead waited for the band to play something I was more comfortable with.

Swift came the reply;
“The touch of the MASTERS HAND!”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A mess of potage, a glass of wine,

A game- and he travels on.

He is going once, going twice,

He’s going and almost gone.

But the Master comes and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought

By the Touch of the Master’s Hand.

I know where my rock lies, the parents who raised me, the family who accepts me, the friends who are behind me, and most importantly, the God who looks after me is my rock. I can raise a little hell, get out of line, worry too much, and cause some people to gray a little early, but at the end of the day I know that I am just like the old violin. I may be written off as some cheap piece of junk, but before the bidding stops the touch of the Master’s Hand will show my true worth. After the Touch of the Master’s hand, it’ll be easy to say, “So this is life?”