The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
—Henry David Thoreau
Although I don’t agree with many of Thoreau’s ideas, I think he has this one right.
You walk down the street and pass someone you know. “How are you?” he says. “Fine” is your standard reply, no matter how tormented or depressed you may feel in your heart. I am reminded of Dunbar’s poem:
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
And mouth with myriad subtleties.Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries
To Thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
—Paul Laurence Dunbar
In such dark surroundings, do we allow ourselves to become what the world wants us to become, to only see us wearing a mask that fits their expectations? Why are we so silent and resigned about our difficulties and trials? What does it mean to have a friend? When we find such a friend, do we appreciate him for what he means to us?
I found several scriptures in the Bible today that really spoke to me:
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
–Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
–Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
To all my friends, I want you to know how much I have appreciated your kind words and listening ears; for being there when I was going through hard times; for putting up with my faults and helping me become a better person. You guys are awesome. I hope I have been able to return something of that to you. Thank you for being my friend–you have meant the world to me.