I Didn’t Come Here to Win. I Came Here to Make Friends

Originally posted on February 25th, 2010
I don’t think I have ever seen a reality show where some over-zealous participant doesn’t say, “I didn’t come here to make friends. I came here to win!” I mean, it’s almost a cliche at this point, but I still hear it.  In fact, I’m thinking of putting it on a T-shirt for satiric effect. 
I find this declaration funny is because making friends is winning!
Clearly these people have never seen It’s A Wonderful Life or if they have, maybe they missed the message.  The Angel Clarence leaves his copy of  Tom Sawyer with an inscription to George Bailey at the end of the movie: “Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends…”
Nothing could be truer.  I certainly think it’s important to have goals.  In fact, I myself have always been very goal-oriented, but I think it’s way more important to have friends.  I have also always been very friends-oriented.  All of my great school memories are tied into cherished time with my friends — not the term paper I got a B- on.  Along the way, I have made friends while working toward some of my various goals (modeling, acting, writing) and my wonderful friends have supported me toward some of my goals… helping me to make my movie, A Totally Minor Motion Picture, for instance.  That would have been impossible without the immense help of many of my friends who volunteered their time, creativity and energy to bring the comedy to completion. While I am proud of the final product that is the movie, I am even prouder of the collaborative effort that created it.  There is no way that I could have done it without them. 
Friends are the prize. 
My grandfather used to say, “A true friend is someone who you know all about and you like anyway.”  I love this because none of us are perfect and we shouldn’t expect our friends to be either. 
If I’ve ever been irritated by a friend (which is thankfully very rare these days) sometimes I put the irritation into what I call “The End Game Test.”  This always snaps me right out of it.  Now, you may think this is morbid, but I think that it helps to put things in their true perspective. So ask yourself, “Would this irritation or conflict stop me from attending my friend’s funeral, if, God forbid, something were to happen?” The answer will 99.9 % of the time always be an unqualified “No!”  You’ll soon realize that when it comes down to it, you love this person and accept them for who they are and would be so distraught if you were to lose them — so who cares if they took the last scone or blabbed a little secret or whathaveyou?  None of this matters when put into the context of life and death.  Mentally fast-forwarding to the moment when you will no longer have each other to be mad at makes you realize that what you’re mad about really doesn’t matter. 
We all must quit this Earth at some point and it’s important to make our contributions to the world — I am all for it. However, I think it’s even more important to make contributions to each other, because in the end, we “win” with the love and laughter and tears that we share. 
I can honestly say that I am rich beyond measure in friendship.  I am a wealthy woman, indeed. 
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