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Want a friend for life? First, be one!

Last updated on: February 12, 2013 09:59 IST

Want a friend for life? First, be one!


Courtesy Careers360

If you have a good friend -- or are in search of one -- here's a story you must remember, writes Prakash Iyer, Executive Coach and MD, Kimberly-Clark Lever.

A telecom company's TV ads have been telling us that "Har ek friend zaroori hota hain".

As I hummed the tune, my mind wandered towards friendship and I was reminded of one of my favourite stories from the Olympics, the story of two Japanese pole vaulters who were also great friends: Sueo Oe and Shuhei Nishida who represented Japan in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Earle Meadows of the United States won the gold medal in the pole vault event at the Berlin Games, clearing a height of 4.35 metres.

Oe and Nishida competed fiercely for second place -- and even after five hours, they remained tied.

That's when the judges decided to call off the contest, leaving it to the Japanese team to decide who amongst the two should be given the silver!

While both of them had cleared 4.25 metres, the silver was awarded to Nishida since he had cleared that height in his first attempt, while Oe cleared it on his second jump.

And so the two dear friends left Berlin -- one with a silver and the other with a bronze.

When they returned to Japan, they went to a jeweller and had their medals cut into two pieces.

They exchanged a piece with each other so they could stick it with the piece each of them originally had.

And they both ended up owning a half bronze -- half silver medal.

A medal that later came to be known as the "friendship medal".

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Image: A still from Airtel's friendship ad


A true friend can make a real difference

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In our lives we often find ourselves in situations where we are constantly competing.

For admission in a college, job or promotion.

Often with our own friends. That's not all.

We get so caught up in ourselves and the prize we are lusting after, that we disregard our friends, and look at them as adversaries.

Friends get sacrificed at the altar of personal greed.

As we  discover later -- that's a terrible deal.

Don't let that happen to you. If you find yourself competing with a friend, stop and think of Nishida and Oe.

And discover the joy of sharing a prize with a friend -- rather than beating him to it.

Winning a silver medal is nice. But having a half bronze -- half silver medal can be even nicer!

A true friend is often the finest possession anyone can ever have.

A real friend can help you find happiness and achieve all that you ever wanted.

A true friend can make a real difference. Now here's the rub.

Most of us would love to have a friend like that. But the question is -- are you a friend like that? Are you the person who's making a difference in someone's life?

Be the kind of person who focuses on others and is not just worried about himself.

We all complain sometimes about how little our friends care for us or help us.

The real question to ask is how much do you care? How much do you help?

We all need a friend you can trust your life with.

Imagine you found yourself in a jail in a foreign land. And you were allowed one phone call.

Who would you call? Who's that person you know would do all it takes to get you out? Truth is we all need someone like that -- but are not always lucky to find that one.

Is there someone out there who has your name as the person they would call if they found themselves in a foreign jail?

Be that person. Get a good friend, and hold on to him or her for dear life.

More important, remember to share the silver.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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