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Daily Journal
     June 16, 2022      #97-167 KDJ

Learning the value of friendship

By Toby Moore

Where would I be without my friends? The answer is nowhere good.

My dad had a lot of friends, and as we approach the anniversary of his death, I’m reminded of all the people who supported him in his final months. Every day he had 10 to 15 people come to the house to be with him. They came so often that getting alone time with him in his final days was hard. They loved him, and it helped me understand the value of friendship.

It took me a long time to learn the value of friendship.

I am blessed to have a couple of friends who were there for me in my darkest times. They were there for me even when I had nothing to offer but depression and despair. During those moments, I realized I needed to be a friend to them just as they were to me.

Sometimes you meet a person, and you know instantaneously there is something about them that you like. Is it possible to have friends at first sight? I’ve never experienced love at first sight, but I have met a couple of people with who it seemed we had an instant bond.

It’s hard to explain, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s like you’ve known them all your life. That feeling wasn’t wrong; those people turned out to be lifelong friends.

I used to work as a model doing print and runway jobs. It’s fun work but also very lonely traveling from city to city working with strangers. One time I was doing a runway job for a big client in the Midwest. There were about 30 other models there too. I didn’t know any of them.

On my first day, I met another model named Bret. Instantly we were friends. Everything he said was hilarious. He wasn’t even trying to be funny, but he had me laughing at every word.

We kept in touch and traveled throughout Europe, doing modeling jobs and having the time of our lives.

Through the years, we stayed friends; even when he married and started a family, we stayed close. There have been long periods when we didn’t see or talk to each other, and when we finally got a chance to hang out again, we picked up right where we left off.

When good things happened, he was always there to celebrate. He was there for the bad times too. During the most challenging times in my life, when it seemed like all was lost, Bret was there. He’d buy a plane ticket to fly across the country to listen to me express my heartache. I’d tell him how bad of a situation I was in, and he’d listen without being judgemental.

It reminds me of the Beatles lyrics, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

He’s always been quick to forgive me when I was at fault; he’s the perfect example of a friend.

While developing the concept for my business, I knew I would need to raise capital to get it started. Who was first in line? Bret. I didn’t even want money from him, I was explaining the concept, and he wanted to be a part of it.

How could I ever repay him for his friendship? By being a friend in return. If you have a Bret in your life, go out of your way to nurture that relationship, that kind of friendship doesn’t come along every day.

I know some people don’t have a lot of friends, but you can create a friendship at any age. I have become friends with a man almost twice my age; we meet every Saturday and have coffee to talk about the spiritual side of life.

Sometimes you have to be a friend if you want a friend. Choose wisely, and make friends with people who want the best for you and for whom you want the best. Celebrate their good times and be there for them in their hard times, don’t judge them for their mistakes. Listen, help out, answer their phone calls, and be empathetic. If you want to be a good friend, be like Bret.

Toby Moore is a columnist, star of the Emmy-nominated film “A Separate Peace,” and CEO of CubeStream Inc. He resides in Bourbonnais and can be reached through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com.

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