I read a saying once that basically went, "we don't lose friends as we get older, we just narrow down our choices down to the ones that matter."
Truer words about friendship, and relationships, have never been spoken. Eventually we narrow down those friends to the ones whose words always ring truest.
As a friend, brother, son, husband.....as a man, your word is what and who you are. Like it or not, that's the world. That's not my perception either. That's my reality and your reality. You can't escape it.
If your word isn't any good, then peoples perception of your integrity isn't going to be very good either. If you tell me that you're going to do something, I expect it to be done. I shouldn't be left to wonder or contemplate if what you say is gospel.
In the movie Jerry Maguire, there is a scene where Cush's dad tells Jerry that he doesn't do contracts....however......
What you do have is my whole word, and it's stronger than oak.
Well if you haven't seen the movie, Cush's dads words ended up ringing hollow as he signed a contract with another agent on the eve of the draft (fuck your spoilers).
That scene really stuck in my head. He made it a point to let Jerry know that his word was strong as oak. Harder than a porn star's war hammer after an overdose of Cialis. Here was a guy that says "hey, I don't do contracts. I'm from the old school when a mans word meant something."
Some would say "well he did what was best for his kid."
The only lesson his son learned from that, was that at the end of the day your word is your bond.....unless someone else coughs up a couple bucks more. Cush was already going to be a millionaire. However dad made sure to perform a gut shot to the stomach of integrity when he showed first hand, that he was a liar, and a backstabber. His "strong than oak" words, fell at the slightest breeze of the wind. A redwood his words were not.
These kinds of lessons are the ones your kids, brothers, sons, and friends learn from you. Whether that means them not trusting you ("I wouldn't trust him to pay me back.....") or never knowing if you'll hold up your end of the bargain ("He said he'd be here......").
You should respect your word as much as you respect yourself. Maybe that's really the root of the problem with cowards, backstabbers, and liars......it's hard to know what respecting someone else means, when you have no idea how to have any respect for yourself.
Someone asked me a while back, "so, what does it mean to respect yourself?"
That's really a great question, because everyone tells you do that, but how often do you ask them to define it?
One of the principles I outlined in Strength, Life, Legacy was to have a code that you live by. This code should be made up of ideas and traits that you believe set you apart from others, raise the standards which you live by, and keep you from compromising who you are because of peer pressure or dire circumstances. Deviating from said code, is not an option. Once you do, what is your code worth? Remember, you can only be as good as your word, or the "words" (your code) that you say you live by. If your own code isn't any good, how good is the man that defined it?
This is, in a nutshell, what self respect is. Living your code in an unforgiving and uncompromising way. It's the outline of the principles you live by, and for no reason do you deviate from them.
Part of that code should be, to be a man of your word. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Never compromise that in the face of adversity. Once you do, anything else that comes out of your mouth can always be questioned by those you gave your word to. Never lie to someone you trust, and never trust someone that lies to you.
With that said, people generally don't like the truth. Most people ask other people to justify and enable their actions. Only keep those close to you that will give it. Thus, narrowing down your choices to people you know will always tell you the truth, will stand beside you when you need them, and tell it to you like it is when you're fucking up.
Part of your code could easily be to ask yourself about these kinds of people and friends......
Do they have my back when I need them?
Will they tell me when I am wrong, or that I need to change things?
Can I always depend on them to tell me the truth, even if I may not like it, and vice versa?
|Even if ol boy has a ponytail, his handshake should still mean something...|
Reality is, you may have great friends that can and would honor all of these things, but may not because they may care about not wanting to "hurt your feelings" or how you feel. It's your responsibility to let them know that regardless of circumstance, they need to be up front with you. If they can't honor that, then they aren't worth keeping around.
On the flip side of that, you should always be able to be up front with them, even if feelings get hurt or egos are bruised. It happens. However you need to lead by example. Which is another great code to live by. If you expect to be treated a certain way, always set that example to others, so when their efforts falter your own actions don't justify it.
At the end of the day, as I've always said, only spend time with the people who are going to cry at your funeral. If you want your life to be as easy as possible, make sure those people understand your code, and have a similar code as well. This is always make life easier.
After all, no one ever said their life was easier because they were surrounded by cowards, backstabbers, and liars.