punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

About friendship

When I was growing up, I heard this story about two men in a desert. I hope I am telling it right:

Two Arabs were walking across the desert. They were lost, and had been for some time. Both their camels had died, and they were running out of water and needed to find an oasis. Tensions ran high, and during an argument about their situation, one Arab slapped the other across the face in anger.

The other Arab stopped, and wrote in the sand, "Today my BEST FRIEND just slapped me in the FACE!"

The other Arab was puzzled, but felt sorry he struck him in anger, and they continued walking for a while in silence. To their delight, they found an oasis. They were so thirsty and hungry, that the Arab who had been hit in the face earlier started to choke to death on a date pit. His friend gave him the Heimlich maneuver, forcing the pit out, and saved his life.

After the other Arab recovered, he went to a nearby stone, and chiseled out, "Today, my BEST FRIEND saved my LIFE!"

His friend was again silent at this, and they slept in a tent that night. When they woke up, he asked, "I have been puzzling about this all night. When I hit you in the face, you wrote about it in sand. But when I saved your life, you wrote about it in stone. How come?"

His friend smiled and said, "When someone hurts you, you should write it in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it from memory. But when a friend does something good, you should engrave it in stone, where winds cannot blow it away, and kindness is never forgotten. I learned to write my pain in sand, and carve my blessings in stone."

His friend learned something that day. It may take only a moment to find a special friend in your life, an hour to respect them, and a day to love them... but an entire life to forget them.
Tags: friends, friendship, zen
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