By Kenneth Justice
~ Yesterday I was having coffee with one of the Jewish lawyers who hangs out at the little café (actually there are a lot of Jewish lawyers who hang out at this one particular coffee shop, I’m not sure why but they do) I frequent and he was telling me a story about a legal case he had eons ago,
“So there I was driving to Philadelphia in the middle of the night to drop off the papers for the client…” he said, but suddenly stopped and looked at me with bewildered eyes, “uh, why was I telling you this story? Uh, I’m sorry Kenneth I can’t really remember what the point of the story was….” His voice trailed off.
“No worries” I said, and I took another long sip of coffee
Actually, that was not the first time this lawyer friend of mine had suddenly forgotten why he was telling me a story and it most likely won’t be the last time. He’s a very dear friend of mine and we’ve been having coffee together for years. He looks a little bit like Albert Einstein thanks to shock white hair that when he forgets to set it in place tends to be wild and runs all over the place. He’s been wearing a pair of eyeglass frames that have been broken for more than a year; it only has one of the temples (the part that hooks around your ear) so that if he tips his head the wrong way his glasses fall off.
My Jewish lawyer friend is also one of those guys that is really bad at telling jokes. He knows a LOT of jokes but he nearly always butchers the punch line; he either forgets the punch line or forgets the order of the joke.
But in the midst of eyeglasses that fall of him randomly, bad joke telling, and forgetting why he is telling a story I’m always thankful that he is my friend; he’s a genuinely good guy. He’s the type of person that if you called him in the middle of the night from a jail cell he would come bail you, no questions asked. Of course, I haven’t actually tested the whole, ‘calling him from a jail cell in the middle of a the night’ but I’m pretty sure he would come through for me, so I keep his number in my wallet in case I’m ever arrested for drinking too much coffee.
Sitting with him yesterday reminded me how we often look past the imperfections of others when it comes to the people we love. In some ways this is a good thing; after all, none of us are perfect and if we only were friends with perfect people we’d end up having a lonely life. Yet at the same time, there have been people in my life with whom I was blinded; people who ended up being destructive to my life yet whom I kept ignoring huge red flags.
Isn’t there a proverb or colloquialism about hanging out with bad company or bad friends and how it ends up wreaking havoc upon yourself?
The people I am friends with says a lot about who I am as a person, and yet at the same time I need to find a balance between loving all people, yet at the same time putting up boundaries in order that the negative and nasty people don’t bring me down.
Just a few simple thoughts while I sipped my coffee this morning,
Categories: Culture & Society