Letters to Tom — Friendship

One of the most difficult things about moving to our new city is that we do not know anyone other than my daughter, her family, and her friends. We have good friends in a lot of places, but none in Charlotte. That will change over time, I hope and believe, but making new friends, true friends, is not easy or a given. It takes time and a proactive attitude.

I read recently Sufi wisdom that counseled — to first befriend yourself, and then dare to be a friend to someone else. We are to begin with feelings of tolerance and respect for ourselves. It will naturally follow that these feelings will draw us out, and then our heart begins to naturally reach out to others. Your Sufi way indicates the friendship and companionship we seek from others must be found inside. But how do we accomplish it?

Friendship for others is expressed in a form of tolerance and forgiveness, in the form of service and trust. Even when a friend disappoints we find a way to set our disappointment aside and love our friend’s faults as much as his/her attributes. Self—Friendship is more difficult. There are no secrets or escape. Perhaps the solution lies by reflecting on a friendship that already exists or once existed in our life. How would we deal or have dealt with the impediment to friendship if it existed in someone other than oneself. If the impediment could be overcome with tolerance and forgiveness in a friend, we can use those same tools on our self. Before you know it, we’ve forgotten our self in self-friendship.

Your friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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