You've got a friend
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
I believe that if a friendly psychologist visited our homes and looked at the books which are kept beside our beds or lying on top of our coffee tables, they can, within a short period of time, decide what kind of nature we have. For example if we are avid readers of westerns and action packed thrillers we – according to the ‘experts’ - are prone to divulge in a bit of escapism where we can live out our childhood fantasies by playing Good Guy/Girl McGurk, or if the mood takes our fancy, Bad Boy/Wumman McGinty. Of course whether we enjoy being the Hero or the Baddie will involve further analysis. Moral of this – watch what you’re reading.
The same can be said for music. I have an eclectic mix of sounds. Jazz to Classical. Pop to Heavy Rock and everything else in-between, so I’m not sure how I would fair if the men (or women), in white coats came to visit. Nevertheless what I have noticed in my record collection is that I have many artistes, from different genres whose lyrics often speak of ‘Friendships,’ or ‘Kindness;’ especially where the hand of support is extended to those facing tough times.
So would my therapist rate me as a moribund, pessimist, or a genuinely caring individual?
Some of my CD titles would include: You’ve got a friend. Lean on me. Bridge over troubled water - to name but a few. There are hundreds more. Songs in which we are encouraged to look for those we can help; to extend mercy to those in trouble, even if the trouble is of their own making; and to let our actions expand the vision of those social critics who would rather criticise, condemn, pontificate, or ignore people, rather than help them with their problems.
When we listen to songs it is very easy to get caught up in the sentimentality of the lyrics and sit with our blanket and box of tissues and chocolates, oh and the wine, and wallow in our own despondency. And yet there is a stronger message which the songwriter wants us to appreciate, and that is to physically reach out and extend the hand of Friendship.
And here’s the thing - maybe the most obvious thing in the world – we all need a mate. Even the most sullen and obnoxious of us. Not just someone to share a good story with, or have a meal together, but a friend who understands, supports, is non judgmental can be quiet when needs be or speaks when they have to. To have that kind of relationship requires an element of trust and faith, for we know that (hopefully) we will not be let down. If we’ve found such a person in our lives then give a whoop, whoop for they are indeed a gift.