Saturday, December 01, 2007


Many years ago I had a mentor and role model, a silver haired elderly southern lawyer who taught me much of value. As a student, I left gobs to be desired. Some of my mentor's lessons are only now sinking in.

The Mentor and I were trying to put together a deal with a group from Texas. We needed another player with a special skill. I volunteered; "I can bring in Joe Smith from Chicago, he's a good friend!"

Patiently, my Mentor fixed his gaze on me. "Close yo' ahs," he said. I did as I was told. He instructed me to; "See the faces of each of your close frainds, one at a tahm." When I told him I had done so, he asked me to count them and hold just the total number of them in my mind. I told him I had a number in my mind (To show you how foolish I was in my mid-twenties, the number was "twelve"). "Divahde it bah two" he said, not particularly patiently or kindly; "If yo' lucky, at any gi'n tahm, ya got about haif as many good frainds as yo' thank!"

I thought this was a rather cynical view but I pursued the lesson; "OK, if that's true, how do I tell the phony half from the real half?" His eyes grew sad and I realized I was about to get the voice of experience. Slowly, his eyes even watering a little, he said; "Son, If yo' jess lissen, they ALWAYS tell ya!"

So here's to my long dead mentor and friend. His face and his words flashed into my consciousness yesterday, when somebody (thank God not a lawyer!) I had considered a friend for years--someone I have defended from countless personal attacks based upon some of his personal quirks and habits--Told me, by his conduct, loud and clear, "This relationship that you thought was one of trust and friendship--ha! It is convenient for me to exploit it now, so I will. You're disposable, Good-bye."

My mentor's wisdom having been proven again, a few thoughts linger:

1. I expect crap like this in politics, where flipping is almost a norm. I don't expect it outside of politics;

2. Good-bye, yourself, butt;

3. I would rather trust and get scorched one time than not build relationships based upon trust at all;

4. Holding grudges is bad for the soul. I won't do that.

5. Distinct from holding grudges, a false friend does not get a second round of trust. Pleasant conversation, cordial greetings, sure, but no trust;

6. What does not kill me only makes me stronger;

NOTE: the details of this particular betrayal are not important. The essential point is that is a shared human experience. Unless you live by yourself in a cave, it will happen to you, probably already has. Avarice, Ambition, Lust, Whatever, will become more important to somebody than the friendship you extend to him/her. I shared a bit about this one to help you prepare for your next one......and maybe a little bit because I know the false friend reads this blog and I want him to know exactly where he stands.

WEEKEND UPDATE: The FF has contacted me and suggested we not see each other for a while. What a concept! Like I was gonna call to cook out or shoot pool anytime soon. "I made a serious mistake" somehow didn't creep into the discussion.


At 5:15 PM, December 01, 2007, Blogger TOOKIE said...

You lost us at "what did Don O'brien do again" hahahahaha

just kidding on the dob .......but seeing as he & I are saying Boomer sooner to all Mizzou guys ......

I figured I would get another miz-zou rah mad at him


At 6:06 PM, December 01, 2007, Anonymous FRED said...

Whooooeeee, boy howdy! After having lost two "good" friends; one as recently as two weekends ago; this post of yours becomes rather poignant. I am amazed at how little it took for them both to "sell me down the river". I'm not even sure I'll be cordial and exchange any pleasantries. My condolences, UMRB.

At 8:18 PM, December 01, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

two kilos,

Nah, OB's my M squared.

At 12:32 PM, December 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told at an early age you could count your really good friends on one hand. As for everyone else, they are as plastic as the credit cards in their back pocket.

At 2:52 PM, December 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the hardest lesson to learn. I, too, have learned it the hard way. I now live by this old addage. Watch the way people treat others, beacause some day that will be you.

At 2:38 AM, December 03, 2007, Anonymous Sean Heeger said...

This just proves again that you can spend your entire friendship in front of someones representative; not the real person they're hiding from ya.

My condolences my brother.

At 8:07 PM, December 05, 2007, Blogger Rocky Cola said...

Oh, I think I can one up you in this area based on my last 6 months....
But that is a story for another time and place.

At 7:22 AM, December 06, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Yeah, We haven't talked in a while.

It's never dull with you.



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