TRANSPARENCY WEEK (this is long, but it is a GREAT story)
I am a better MAN and a better FRIEND because of one of my BEST FRIENDS in the UNIVERSE..Derrick Worsley. Little did he know, he taught me one of the most valuable lessons in my life and outside of my FATHER, he's influenced my life in ways he couldn't possibly know until NOW.
Derrick and I have been friends since 1990. He's ALWAYS been a GREAT FRIEND to me; however, there was a time that I was NOT a GREAT FRIEND to him. I was dating a girl in college that I was in love with head over heels. She really had me by the nose (among other things) <<grow up...I'm being transparent>>.
Well, little did I know, she was cheating on me. I was so in love I was too blind to see that it was happening. Primarily because I didn't want to see it. Well, Derrick, saw it and questioned it. He questioned HER about it. He then came and told me his suspicions and his concern for my well being.
Do you wanna know what I did?? I got mad.......AT HIM. Not only did I get mad at him, I didn't tell him directly to his face, but to our mutual friends. I eventually had a conversation with him about the situation and told him how I felt about his accusations and that he was my boy but just stay out of it. What happened next shocked me and shook me.
Derrick ENDED our friendship. RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT. He told me point blank that we were NOT friends. I ask why????? He said because as a friend, why would he come and tell me something KNOWING it would hurt me just for the sake of hurting me. What kind of friend would do that?? He expressed to me that he was being a friend by trying to protect me and I didn't appreciate it so I must not appreciate his friendship and JUST LIKE THAT....our friendship was over.
He wouldn't speak to me, answer the phone...nothing. Mind you he was dating one of my best friends (who eventually became his wife) so all of my interaction with him after that was extremely strained and awkward. I was devastated. I was angry. I was like "this is just a misunderstanding, it doesn't have to be like this". But it WAS like this and there was NOTHING I could do about it. I had just lost one of THE BEST FRIENDS I had EVER had.
Well, a month later, I did indeed find out that she was cheating on me....BIG TIME. The relationship ended and I had nothing to show for it. I didn't have the girl and I had lost my best friend. We didn't really speak for over 2 years. It was awful, but it was also ALL MY FAULT. I had no one to blame but myself.
Well, eventually we did talk and he CHOSE (notice the word I used) to forgive me. I carried around the pain of that guilt for years and it has never left me. I was HORRIBLE to one of the people that I KNEW AND HAD PROVEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN that had my back and look at what I did.
Well, his forgiveness and his friendship HELPED MAKE ME INTO THE MAN I AM TODAY. Had he NOT point blank just ended our friendship, I would still be thinking it's okay to treat people like this and think it's okay and that things just go back to normal. It took YEARS before things went back to normal. TO THIS DAY, I use this example in MY CLASSES that I teach on Ethics. Derrick doesn't even know that he's been an example to my students on what NOT to do to your friends. And YES DERRICK, I have talked about this situation A LOT over the last 4 years of me being a professor. THAT'S HOW MUCH THAT AND YOU HAVE IMPACTED MY LIFE!!
I want to PUBLICLY thank Derrick for teaching me that lesson about what a REAL FRIEND IS. I want to thank him for being my friend when I didn't deserve it. I want to thank him for accepting my friendship when he didn't have to. I want to thank him for being one of my absolute BEST friends to this day. I want to tell him that I love you brother with my whole heart and that you are the SALT OF THE EARTH to EVERYONE THAT KNOWS YOU. You didn't deserve what I did to you!! There are not too many people on Earth that are as genuine and as authentic as Derrick. That is the TRUTH. Anyone that is reading this that knows him KNOWS THIS. You have been a great friend to me and you are STILL a great friend. BUT what's more.....you are a GREAT PERSON. THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME GROW UP. THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN YOU SAY SOMEONE IS YOUR FRIEND AND YOU TRULY LOVE THEM....YOU ACT THAT WAY ALL THE TIME...NOT JUST WHEN IT'S CONVENIENT FOR YOU OR WHEN IT FEELS RIGHT.
Here's to you Derrick! Your brother Alvin loves you man!! And I DO HAVE YOUR BACK NOW AND FOREVER. YOU and YOU ALONE taught me how to be a REAL friend. I will FOREVER be that to YOU and anyone else I call "friend". I will forever be a better friend to YOU and to OTHERS than I was to you at that time in our lives. THAT I PROMISE!!
Until Next Time
I am The Sharp One
Sharpen your Edge and your life will never be Dull!