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Rodney Evan Bohen

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The Fifties and Friendship
by Rodney Evan Bohen   

Last edited: Friday, April 18, 2003
Posted: Friday, April 18, 2003

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I think the most decisive difference I can put my finger on however, separating and distinguishing us a people now verses then, would be this, we were not afraid to be friendly and make friends back then!

Oh I know, some are grumbling even as we speak, saying damn, them old duffers do go on and on with that remembrance and nostalgia stuff do they not? Guilty I reckon, I as well might confess to the older tag too! And yes, I think my first sign of aging was indeed, when I started remembering the good old days!

The fifties indeed had their special charm laced in simplicity to be sure, yet we had our own problems of time, Viet Nam, race issues and reformation of monumental importance to all, women's rights unfolding and blossoming against the war torn sounds of daily news from Viet Nam, yes Viet Nam, we seem to drag a war along with us into tomorrow often, do we not? Yes, from generation to generation like a red wagon trailing behind a young child.

I think the most decisive difference I can put my finger on however, separating and distinguishing us a people now verses then, would be this, we were not afraid to be friendly and make friends back then!

Alas, today finds little time to nurture new friendships it would seem, with all so focused on the pursuit of the gold coin. I actually over the years have heard many make statements such as this concerning making new friends, My dance card is full! My schedule quite full permits it not! My plate of friendship is full enough! Geez, when did becoming friends become such a burden I wonder this day?

I mean to me, being a simple man yes, if we don't have time for friends, well then we are just to damn busy! Life unfolds only once in blossoming display and passage, friends remain the very pedals upon the rose! Yes, roses have thorns, as people do also, often pricking us in our attempt to become close in friendship. Yet the man with no friends is surely dwelling in a field of thorns only!

We used to not be afraid of our new neighbor, to put out our hand in sincerity and greeting, followed by a dinner invitation to boot! No longer does such affable behavior seem to cloak mans walk, for now we go out of our way to ignore such new folk, deeming it safer, and less messy!

Yes, messy, just like kids! What a pain in the ass they are to behold! Yet..the Bible says he who has his quiver full, is blessed indeed! Yes, the reward in part for parenting remains this, in exchange for your sacrifice, you are rewarded in your golden years hopefully, by being surrounded by offspring that care! Indeed as life was designed! Whilst the man who couldn't be bothered with such an incredulous weave of messy, in his golden years merely pines away in stark solitude, hollow and dead.

Yes, friendship demands attention, compassion and time as well, but in its absence, I ask you, what replaces that well, and resevoir of heart? Yes, the well of joy, nurturing, camaraderie as well, for surely the man with no friends has a tidy and neat life to be sure, yet...inside living with no human hand upon his heart.

Yes, indeed the fifties, where men still shook hands in sincerity, and a commitment to friendship and family still stood tall in priority of heart.
Some indeed mistake friendship with acquaintances, borrowing trouble in heaps, for an acquaintance is not a friend, nor is it where one should seek. You cant turn an aquaitance into a friend, for it is not to be! For a friend is something magical, that is often birthed in a moment spontaneity, yes, a friend is made with the first press of the flesh, or handshake if you please! Yes, we know intuitively that we have found a like heart and spirit.

A fool discerns not the difference between a friend and bar mate, so his search shall always fall short, for a friend is something far more special than an ear and sounding board. A friends sticketh closer than a brother, most can count on one hand.

Yes, some have experienced acute abandonment from such so called friends, I as know well, in this trek of disappointment! Yet, if it causes us to not try again, then their abandonment has shackled us in bondage not to be short lived. If a bad friend offends us, causing us to be too gun shy to brave the water again, then surely that bad friend has impacted our life forever, for we allowed him such due power...

I have few, I had many so called friends once! I feel I have always been able to distinguish the good from the bad, the real from the fake, the true from the false! Yet may I state in complete candor and confession this day, that despite my skill sharpened in the arena of discernment, I have still made bad calls I fear! And been disappointed to the point of shock and tears.

Yes, it actually launched and catapulted me into complete isolation and hermit type existence for years! But you know what I discovered? I had given these fair weathered friends to much power indeed! For the only thing worse than being betrayed, abandoned, and forgotten, is to allow its dark power, to cover and paint us for life, in solitude and fear as a result.

Yep, make friends, we get hurt! Don't make friends, and we stay hurt and alone forevermore, the choice remains ours! May we choose wisely this day...
Rodney Evan Bohen

Web Site: Rodney's Painted Pen Commentary

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Reviewed by Debra Conklin
Friendship is indeed an important part of living. I have many, acquaintances, people whom I can visit and spend an evening with. But, very few, true and real friendships. Those are the ones that are tougher to nurture and keep growing. Like you say, it takes effort and work to keep a true friendship alive, but if you've found even one, isn't it worth it? Wonderful sentiments, here Rodney.
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