My name is J. A. Faulkerson, and I’m the author of Young Achiever Playbook: Planning to Achieve. I released this book in early 2019 in hopes of giving adolescents and young adults some of the tools they will need to lay firmer foundations for prosperous living.
The book is available for online purchase at jafaulkerson.wordpress.com/store.
Today’s topic is Nurturing, the first of four pillars of prosperity. The other three pillars are Learning, Working and Leading. Nurturing is based on the belief that people should grow up to fall in love, get married, and provide parental warmth to their children. To move toward greatness as a Nurturer, it is my belief that we must master three distinct roles, that of Reliable Friend, Present Spouse and Active Parent. I will share my insights about what it means to become a Present Spouse and Active Parent in future presentations. However, I would like to take some time now to answer questions related to becoming a Reliable Friend.
I believe a Reliable Friend is someone you can count on to provide meaningful advice, guidance, support, love and companionship. But in order for me to be receptive to these provisions, I must trust the person delivering them. I need to know that the person who wants to become my friend is not out to hurt me through the improper use of their words or deeds.
There’s a verse in the Christian bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, that describes qualities mostly associated with love. But I’m here to tell you that these qualities should also be present in our friends. A Reliable Friend is:
- Patient and kind
- Doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud
- Doesn’t dishonor you, and isn’t self-seeking or easily angered
- Keeps no record or wrongs, always protects you, trusts you, and hopes for the best for you
It is my belief that a person develops a desire to be reliable by getting in touch with his/her Selfless Self. If you’re anything like my younger self, your default response when interacting with others is to focus on your needs while ignoring the needs of others. But after many years of being focused on my own needs (i.e., acts of selfishness), I started considering other people’s needs, circumstances. And it was this consideration that caused me to conclude that the thing we all need most are opportunities to live our best lives now while belonging to someone, or something, special. Reliable friends care deeply about the people they befriend, and are committed to forging shared experiences that enrich the whole not just the parts.
Becoming a Reliable Friend has many benefits. I’m about to list three here.
The first benefit is that you know your friendships are based on unconditional love, admiration and respect. Reliable friends don’t care about you because you do X, Y and Z; they care about you because your words and deeds show you’re a decent person, one who is worthy of their love, admiration and respect. If they did say they care about you because of X, Y and Z, I would consider that the beginning of a toxic relationship. You don’t need any toxicity in your life, you need more tonic.
The second benefit is that you gain an appreciation for why it is so important to give of your time, talent, testimony and treasure. Most of the time, when someone references the four T’s, we think they’re talking about philanthropy, the act of selflessly giving of your time, talent, testimony and treasure. But we gift these things to our friends as well. The conversations we have, the athletic events that we attend, the vacations that we take are shared experiences that will be with us throughout our lives.
The third benefit is that you set the stage for positive interactions with your spouse and children. I will offer additional insights about these interactions in future presentations, but the important thing to note here is that we give selflessly to our spouses and children because they are us and we are them. We create fulfilling lives with our spouses, and we help our children find fulfillment in the lives they are destined to lead.
To access purchase links to my book Young Achiever Playbook: Planning To Achieve, please visit my website, jafaulkerson.wordpress.com/store.
Thank you, and stay well.