Text and Photo by Henrylito D. Tacio
“A single soul in two bodies” was how philosopher Aristotle described a friend. To Len Wein, a friend is “someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.” Father Jerome Cummings considers a friend as the person who “who knows us, but loves us anyway.” Ralph Waldo Emerson believes a friend is “the masterpiece of nature.”
But the definition I like most is the one which Dinah Craik (author of 1859’s A Life for a Life) penned: “A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart chaff and grain, together. Knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what’s worth keeping and blow the rest away.”
Recently, I got an email from a friend. He forwarded me a thought that is not only inspirational but also loaded with lessons in life. The author is unknown, but the title itself is captivating: “The color of friendship.”
I read it – with much gusto – trying to figure out what color I am – as a friend. At the end of the piece, I surmised that whatever color we want to be, we will always be friends. Read on…
Once upon a time, the colors of the world started to quarrel. All claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, and the favorite of them all.
Green said: “Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”
It reminds me of the song, “Green, green grass of home.”
Blue interrupted: “You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing.”
Now, I know why the sky is blue.
Yellow chuckled: “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, and the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.”
Sing with me that song all over again, “Tie a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree….”
Orange started next to blow her trumpet: “I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and papayas. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”
Remember “Orange,” a song performed by Irish comedian David O’Doherty?
Red could stand it no longer; he shouted out: “I am the ruler of all of you. I am blood – life’s blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy.”
Which song should we sing: “Woman in Red” or “Red River Valley”?
Purple rose up to his full height; he was very tall and spoke with great pomp: “I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me! They listen and obey.”
Purple rain was what came to mind!
Finally, Indigo spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: “Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”
And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their fight became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightning thunder rolled and boomed. The rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.
In the midst of the clamor, God began to speak: “You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don’t you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me.”
Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands. God continued: “From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow.”
And so, whenever a good rain washes the world and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.
“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails,” Donna Roberts said. C.S. Lewis also stated, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”