“The things you own end up owning you.”
A man was on holiday in the depths of Louisiana, where he tried to buy some Alligator shoes. However he was not prepared to pay the high prices, and after having failed to haggle the vendor down to a reasonable price level, ended up shouting "I don't give two hoots for your shoes man, I'll go and kill my own "croc!," to which the shopkeeper replied, "by all means, just watch out for those two blonde "ole boys" who are doing the same!". So the man went out into the Bayou, and after a while saw two blonde men with spears, standing still in the water. 'They must be the 'ole boys' he thought. Just at that point he noticed an alligator moving in the water towards one of them. The guy stood completely passive, even as the gator came ever closer. Just as the beast was about to swallow him, he struck it with his spear and wrestled the gator up onto the beach, where there were several laying there. Together the two guys threw the gator onto its back, where-upon one exclaimed "Darn! This one doesn't have any shoes either!".
FRIENDSHIP is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.”
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