The test of sincere friendship


Today, we look at another of Aesop’s Fables. This one is relates to friendship:

The Bear and the Travelers (by Aesop)

Two Travelers were on the road together, when a Bear suddenly appeared on the scene. Before he observed them, one made for a tree at the side of the road, and climbed up into the branches and hid there.  The other was not so nimble as his companion; and, as he could not escape, he threw himself on the ground and pretended to be dead.  The Bear came up and sniffed all round him, but he kept perfectly still and held his breath; for they say that a bear will not touch a dead body.  The Bear took him for a corpse, and went away.  When the coast was clear, the Traveler in the tree came down, and asked the other what it was the Bear had whispered to him when he put his mouth to his ear.  The other replied, “He told me never again to travel with a friend who deserts you and the first sign of danger.”

The moral of this story, according to Aesop, is: Misfortune tests the sincerity of friendship.

Misfortune, or life’s challenges, truly do test the sincerity of friendship. Perhaps, in this story, the Traveler that ran for the tree was simply being practical.  “At least save yourself,” he might have thought.  On the other hand, adversity frequently exposes a true friend from merely a “Facebook” friend.  I have seen this clearly in my own life.  Over the last year in which I experienced a few health issues, I witness friends doing remarkable things for me and my family!  Though no one wants to experience adversity, seeing the reaction of others and how much they care warms the heart in a way that you may not have experienced without the adversity.

Seeing others experience adversity also tests us. When you see a bear threaten your friend, how do you react?  Do you head for the nearest tree or do you stand with your friend to fight together?  What have you done lately for a friend experiencing one of life’s challenges?  How have you supported a friend that has lost a job?  What have you done to comfort a friend experiencing a family crisis?  Who would count you as a friend that would never leave you when adversity strikes?

Have a fabulous day today! Let’s hope no bears come our way; but, if they do, let’s fight with our friends.

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