Water flowing was the only sound the men heard as they gathered their gear. Doc Holiday leaned against his saddle which was next to a small tree, while Wyatt stood along the bank gathering his thoughts. Coughing, one of the men said, “Doc, you ought to be in bed, why are you doing this?”
“Because Wyatt Earp is my friend.”
“Hell Doc, I’ve got lots of friends.” The man said with a look of wonder on his face.
“I don’t.” Doc replied.
There is something in this short scene from the movie Tombstone which gets me every time I see it. I think about it often when it comes to my friends too. I wonder if I’m this kind of friend to them; one who is willing to lay his life aside to help them. Am I really the friend they need?
There are seven men in my life with whom I have walked through hell and back. They’ve been there for me at the best and worst times in my life, and to say I’m thankful for them is an understatement. We know the good, bad and ugly in each other’s lives, and yet we still enjoy each other’s company even though we spend less time together than any of us would really like.
Friendship may be one of the greatest gifts a man can ever have in his life too. I can’t imagine doing this life alone, even though spending time alone is one of things I do enjoy. I’m obviously not alone because I’m married and have kids, but there is something a man needs in his life more than this relationship with his family, he needs to be friends with other men.
As a man, you need to cultivate relationships with other men who can speak into your life. This won’t happen overnight, and it probably won’t be easy either; because men are guarded and don’t express what is going on in their lives very well, for whatever reason; fear, pride, unwillingness to be open and honest, etc. But it is worth any effort you apply to developing this friendship.
The idea of being a lone wolf may be popular in stories, but in real life this kind of man pales in comparison to the guy who has true and authentic male friendships in his life. I was reading a blog the other day about being alone, and in it Kenneth Burke talked about solitary confinement being the harshest form of imprisonment (Thanks kenneticexpression!) When a man spends most of his time alone whether by his choice or not, it brings with it a deficiency which does terrible damage to a man’s soul.
We were made to be social creatures, it’s in our make up to want and need friends. Regardless of what you may think; you need a few solid friends in your life like Doc Holiday in Tombstone. And you also need to be this kind of friend to other men in your life. I know life has a way of making you busy, and does it’s best to keep you alone and away from your friends, but you must make it a priority in your life.
Start today, contact a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and get together for coffee or go hit some golf balls. Do something with some other men, get out of your comfort zone and make the effort. You’ll be glad you did.
Now you know what I think, what do you think? Tell me about it.