From a New Year’s resolution, I was willing to change, to be different for my own sake. To be more social I said “I would be more true to myself. I’d give something back to my community.” For two full months, I followed a path of motivation and discovery. These new social friendships I gained had all its positive effects. I seem to come at the right time for people who needed me. I also try not to miss going to church.

To the new friends I gained, it seemed I was like a blessing, to share a supportive role in their life and to give them positive input. I talked to all walks of life. Everyone that was listening got to bring home a tiny message. As for the people, between the ages of a toddler to the age of an elder, I left my thoughts with them, hoping they can grow on that. I’ learned how fulfilling it can be to be appreciated and to give that back, but being a friend is much more important nowadays.

We all have such a tendency to protect our family from our ever-changing society. As parents, we do the best we can for our children. But what else is there? I found out for myself the true reasons that prevent a friend from being more productive to his or her community, or even to his or her own family.

One of our biggest challenges so far, is to find a true friend to listen to us. To accept us as we are and still appreciate us despite our failures and shortcomings. I also realize it does not take a degree to be able to help a troubled mind. Developing the art of listening to someone might be time consuming, and different at first, but the lasting effects are far greater than the pain that was on his or her shoulder.

These days, a sharing of information is critical if you can see that it might help that new friend. We all appreciate goodwill from one another. We find opportunities to start conversations on a daily basis. Do we take time to be good listener too? This is a key solution that a lot of us hold back on… What is really bothering us? What is holding us back from progress? Who wants to listen to me? Who can we really trust with this burden of mine?

To be honest, this is what I found out so far; only you can help your community get back its love for one another. Somewhere in you, you have a gift to share with a friend you thought you knew. The basic idea to gaining friends is to keep at it. To respect a friend is to be a good listener and still manage not to gossip. Take a vow and pray to keep it.

We all know how gossip can hurt. We know how it feels. If you know how it feels to be stabbed in the back by someone you thought was your friend, I can only recommend not to take that same blade to stab the nest one.

Like today, from time to time, we all suffer from gossip. Many times, it is because of putting ourselves in harm’s way in order to help or listen to a friend (I know that one all too well…). My only suggestion is this; when someone comes racing to tell you about what someone said or done; think first… What benefit is it to pass it on? Think this also… If I was a victim of gossip, wouldn’t I appreciate at least, the benefit of the doubt?

We all know how long it takes to build a friendship, and also know that it can take only 24 hours to kill it. These are the little things that can keep you from all sorts of progress and keep your community divided. We will not progress together by hurting one another. We will not find peace until someone says T am sorry’. Everyone has a good heart! If you don’t believe me? I say, you have to keep on playing that supportive role. Things can only turn around if you keep at it. If one day a leader opens his heart to your community, embrace him! If he pours out

his soul to you, LOVE HIM! He’s the one…