In prosperity it is very easy to find a friend; but in adversity it is the most difficult of all things.” – Epictetus
Let’s turn this well used and often repeated idea on its head.
It is easy for us to want to be a friend to our peers when things are going well for them. They are positive, they are fun to be around, and they often have more expendable income.
And it is kind of a drag to be around people when they are going through something really trying. They tend to focus on their struggle, which makes sense when we see it in type. They also to go through these manic phases followed by periods where they are just down, hard.
But if we are trying to master ourselves and learn to exercise emotional discipline, which friend is going to push us to be better? Which friend is going to give us more opportunity to improve on the skill sets we are trying to develop?
Not that we are using our friends for personal development but if we actually want to become the type of people who can truly be good friends, we need to develop these skills.
So we should reach out to the friend who is going through a hard time, we should listen to them, we should comfort them, but more importantly we should encourage them. We should encourage them to see these moments as something that will make them better, stronger, at least wiser. Not through preaching at them, but by being there with them and choosing to enjoy them.
virtus fortis vocat