(excerpt, from The Tenth Word, book one, page 43)
She is my daughter. We met in an operating room two years ago and I had held her then as close as we were holding each other now. She responded to the pull of my outstretched arm under her shoulders by touching then stroking my beard. Her little eyes bounced around hiding and unhiding the whites of her eyes as she seriously returned my stare. Then all of her own she said, "I love you, Daddy. You're my very best friend."
The Tenth Word
This became the tenth word I really learned: what friend meant. All of my years previous to being on the path of word miser had been filled with meaningful words. However, I don't think I knew all of the depths of this path, and certainly I lacked the depth of knowledge of the quality that is required in parency—but the quality assurance that I began to see after learning this tenth word immeasurably changed my effectiveness with others.
WEBSTER AND THE GREEKS
Friend—[Old English, freon—to love ]
1a. One attached to another by affection or esteem
Esteem (the noun)— 1. archaic meaning: worth, value, account
Esteem (the verb) —to estimate, determine
Affection— 1. a moderate feeling or emotion
(So, Friend 1a. could be written this way: One attached to another by feelings or worth. Or, one attached to another by several million feelings which have been, over time, deposited into that personal relationship account.)
Philos—friend, meaning devoted
Devote—vow, or wish.
2a. to give up wholly or purposefully
2b. to center the attention or activities around
Congenial—One who has the same nature as
We choose to center our attention or activities around other people. We attach ourselves willingly to others by the attractive forces of feelings or by our attraction to the inside-worth we see in them—our values hugging to their values.
To say it another way, we humans estimate, esteem, or appraise a person to see if they have any of the life values or meanings that we like to see in people, and then we willingly center our activities and attention around them. We eventually describe the relationship by saying that we love them or have fond feelings for them: We like them; they are our friends. (When we say we like someone, are we, most of the time, meaning that we are like them?)
At Birth We Are Friends
Our children should become our closest friends, for by way of genetics they are sure to have intensity of measurement and frequency of feelings which are more similar to ours than our adult friends. Their moral valuables, by way of propensity, will resemble ours more closely than others, as well. If our children already have these values and feelings which we also have; if, in general, we enjoy ourselves the way we are, and are comfortable with that enjoyment, then we will more easily appreciate the like in our children. We therefore will have an edge for accomplishing good teaching; this we do not have with adult friends. Having such natural things built-in at birth, makes it easier to deepen that friendship; deepen it to a depth far deeper than can be imagined, for the soul of that friend—comrade, teammate, family member—becomes bottomless, and our feelings and thoughts become bottomless as well—else why do we cry so when their life is done.
At birth we are friends, and then as life goes on we become friends; at the birth of that newborn, we center ourselves around that little person. Then as our lives intertwine with them, owing to events we share and react to, talk about and question, suffer and suffer through, the child begins to center their self around us: We start knowing we are friends. This knowing is decidedly more richer than that first biological connection. During this later time, the child begins to experiment with their inner findings, as if they are playing with blocks, and quickly build valuables which they are proud of, and that show they have befriended the family.
Also, we are friends and become enemies can be a true outcome of decisions made regarding our centerings.
Wealth’s Place of Residence
The wealth that is warm becomes ours when our children become our very best friends. However, these inner wealths within the younger person take years to stabilize, years of training themselves to manage them. It does happen, though, just as a smoldering fireplace holds heat under the logs and then at some instant during the night starts blazing out useful flames. That wealth, when it finally appears, forever face-fames the living who surround that sweet young hearth.
Our Need for Best Friends
We need these friends, too. It is easier to discuss an issue with someone who senses things similarly to the way we do, or who already has developed an affection for thoughtful analyzing, for careful caring, listening, etc.. One who values subjects similar to the subjects you do will more readily understand the way you are expressing things about that subject, and can give insights into that subject more intuitively than most of those who do not carry around those values regarding those same subjects.
When we don’t feel the need to retrain our sentences in the middle of a conversation, or don’t see ourselves constantly preface a saying, it is a sign that we are closely centered to that person. It causes us tearful distress when they move away, for we have devoted ourselves to them, and resultantly, the time which it takes to re-center the friendship, seems to move frighteningly further away with them.
Mature trust is not blind. True and deep friendships come by way of repeatedly giving and safeguarding the treasures given between friends. A friend’s advice has its roots in private valuables that have been polished and re-polished during quiet meaningful transactions.
If our children are in habit of measuring things with a similar kind of ruler in which we do, there is less awkwardness when it comes time to talk through difficult events or mistake-problems. We, who are older and more experienced in those difficulties, are able to offer good advice and appropriate infrastructure, the kind which quickly helps unpuzzle those complexities. Both parent and child suddenly apprise, to great relief, thoughts like: wow, that didn’t take long to come to a term we can both live with.
The beauty to notice here is that as the child grows they will learn to arrange their things more and more similarly to the way the parents do. The child, with their now family-blended nature, will sense out the world similarly to the way the parents did or are doing; thus, it can easily be seen by the parent that the genetic similarity which resided in them when they were young still appears in the child, but surrounded by a plethora of new naturals which the child is coming to decisions with. This realization should bring a great amount of hope in their care for their child’s excellence.
Given that we are so similar to our children in nature, if we devote ourselves to them, it will be an easy thing for them to say, "I love you. You are my very best friend."
Link to my book: "The Tenth Word, I" https://www.amazon.com/dp/1719936269