Best Friends

You may not be the best friend of your best friend and your best friend may not be your friend at all.

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In Dependence

We never find out who our true friends are until we need to know.

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Intimate Friends

Intimate Friends (1977), by Eddie Kendricks, describes a passionate friendship that is open to interpretation. Eddie could be singing about his relationship with one of multiple lovers. He might be singing about his relationship with someone who is not a lover. All I know is that he is detailing a relationship with someone who is not just a friend. The lyrics and title imply that there is a “friendship hierarchy.” Intimate friends are near the top. Listen to what he has to say. Draw your own conclusions.

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Smiling Faces Sometimes

I did loss prevention for a luxury retail store in Century City, California in 2007. I was employed by a security company. My scheduler advised me not to converse with any of the customers or sales personnel. I planned on following his advice. I met another loss prevention associate, the store’s manager, and most of the sales people on my first day. Agnes, a member of the sales team, seemed to take a liking to me. She asked me all sorts of personal questions and even offered me food (which I didn’t take). This transpired when there were no customers in the store and we were just standing around. I did not want to hurt her feelings by telling her that we weren’t supposed to be socializing. Her friendliness was overwhelming. She continued to initiate conversations with me as the days went by. Agnes kept a smile on her face the entire time. I found out that she lived with her boyfriend across from a Metro Red Line stop. I relied on the Red Line to go to and from work. One day, a customer transaction prevented the store from closing at the usual time. I missed my bus as a result. I was going to have to spend the night at Union Station because there was no way for me to get home. The only way around this was to get a ride. I explained this to Agnes and asked for a ride to the Red Line stop near her apartment. I saw evil in her eyes. The smile was gone. Then it returned. She agreed to give me a ride. We had a nice conversation on our way to the Red Line stop. She dropped me off and I thanked her. When I came to work the next day, I was surprised to find out that Agnes and a female coworker had reported me to the store manager for always asking them for rides. I was fired by phone after that shift. Agnes’s friendliness had compensated for the fact that she could not stand me. She was scared to death of me from the moment we met. This ordeal was a learning experience. It taught me to reduce my socializing with coworkers to “hi” and “bye.” It taught me to say “hi” and “bye” to coworkers in the exact same stone-faced manner. It taught me that smiling faces sometimes tell superb lies. The Undisputed Truth’s Smiling Faces Sometimes (1971) is a song that you should take to heart. Friendliness must not be confused with friendship.

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The Sad Truth

People, who are “friends” with everyone, are all too often friends with no one.

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A World Without Racism

The spiritual world has no climates.

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Help But Don’t Steal

Never rob others of their burdens.

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Our Hair

The main reason that we have hair is to keep us warm. Now, the carbon from our hair can keep our loved ones warm.

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Before I Let You Go

My 20 year high school reunion is coming up this year. It’s hard for me to believe. It seems as if I turned 18 about 5 years ago. Time flies even when you’re not having fun. I have no intention of going to this function. I was miserable during my high school years. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school where I was assaulted by a priest, tormented by various peers, and nearly expelled for an act that was not my fault. I couldn’t wait to graduate. I did make a friend who ended up becoming the best friend I’ve ever had. As my mother says, out of the bad comes the good. When I graduated, my favorite song on the radio was Blackstreet’s Before I Let You Go (1994). It got massive airplay. It deserved it.

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Different

All organisms strive to survive. Human beings are the most intelligent of them all. Familiarity is key to our survival. We often gravitate to people who are similar to ourselves. It is much easier to connect with others who have things in common with ourselves. These things often include physical attributes such as skin color. People who do not have much in common with ourselves are different. Different is unfamiliar. Different is a possible threat to our survival. I was a boy when Do The Right Thing (1989) was first released in theaters. I enjoyed it but not nearly as much as when I saw it in a film class in college. I have never seen anything else like it. This film provides you with a wonderful opportunity to reexamine yourself. You may not like what you find.

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