Here's the inaugural version of the annual Friday FAQ on this blog. This week, I'll make it personal instead of professional.
The question: What is the highest compliment you can imagine receiving?
(First, a disclaimer. I self-identify as a follower of Jesus Christ. So, the obvious answer is 'you remind me of Jesus in the way you navigate life'. That's a given for me. So, I'll keep going, knowing that many people who read this do not consider themselves to be particularly religious people.)
The highest compliment I can imagine receiving is 'You are a loyal friend, the kind of friend I know I can depend on no matter what. I can trust you no matter what'.
In earlier stretches of life my most coveted compliment might have had to do with success or status or skills. No longer.
The older you get the more you realize that at the end of the day what matters are relationships. All the other stuff goes away, or could go away or if it doesn't go away it fades dramatically in how much you care about it.
I'm an introvert and don't need a lot of friends. But I am intensely loyal to those I do have and I value that sort of loyalty more with each passing year. It's a rare thing, man.
It would be a compliment beyond measure to be told: "Even if I were to fail in spectacular fashion I know you would be there for me - physically, relationally, spiritually. I know you would be there even if being there was costly to you. I know your friendship is not just in words, but in deeds".
That's the kind of friendship you can take to the bank, even when your bank account is empty.
You can't outsource or delegate that kind of friendship. It's not dependent on external factors and circumstances and sometimes it's not even logical.
It's rare and takes real commitment to pull off, but I want to be that kind of friend.