Saturday, November 27, 2010


Friendships are like people. I guess that stands to reason since friendships exist in the lives of people. Friendships can be casual or life long. They can change our lives and change the lives of others without our even realizing it.

A few years ago, I came across this story on line. I don't know who wrote it. I don't know if its a true story or not. But its a story that every person should hear and every person should understand. If anything, its more timely today than when I first saw it.


One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my
class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he
was carrying all of his books.

I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a
Friday? He must really be a nerd.

I had quite a weekend planned: parties and a football game with my
friends tomorrow afternoon, so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward Kyle. They ran
at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he
landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in
the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw terrible
sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him.

So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his
glasses, and I noticed a tear in his eye. As I handed him his
glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.'

He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!' There was a big smile on his
face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it
turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him
before. Turns out he had gone to private school before now. I would
have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all
the way home, and I carried some of his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to
play a little football with my friends and he said yes. We hung out
all weekend and fucked around all the nights. As I got to know Kyle,
the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him also.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books

I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious
muscles with this pile of books everyday! He just laughed and handed
me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we
were seniors we began to think about college, sex and girls. Kyle
decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would
always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was
going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about
being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so
glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak on Graduation day,

I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really
found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked
good in glasses. He had more dates than I had, and all the girls
loved him. Sometimes I was jealous and today was one of those days. I
could see that he was nervous about his speech. I smacked him on the
ass and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and
smiled. 'Thanks,' he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his
throat, and began: 'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped
you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers,
your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends... I am here
to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift
you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.'

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the
first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He
talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn't have
to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me
and gave me a little smile.

'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy
told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking
at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did
I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture
you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. We are all
in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for good
in others.

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have
trouble remembering how to fly.

As, I mentioned, I don't know if the story printed above is true or not, but I know it could be. I know it could be because a similar story happened to me.

About fifteen years ago I met a guy. It seemed like a casual meeting. That the meeting took place at all was circumstantial. It was not a meeting I could have predicted. We had little in common. He was about 12  years younger than I. He had young children. Mine were grown. He was still very much a part of the busienss world in a high powered job with a national company. My career was winding down down toward retirement. He was athletic and loved loved all kinds of sports. Athletics had never been my strong point.

But for some reason there was something about this chance meeting right from the first. I had no idea what it was, but I was highly aware of it, whatever it was. At first our talk was just small talk that commonly takes place between two people who have never met before and are casually getting acquainted. But then he asked if he could talk to me privately. I agreed not knowing what was coming.

In private, he confided in me that he was planning to kill  himself. He knew how. He knew when. He knew why. He was just waiting for a family wedding to be overwith so that his death would not put a damper on what should be a happy day.

He was going to do this because he could no longer live with his sexuality. He was a married man who could not rid himself of the desire for male/male sex. He felt he was a monster. He felt he was going to Hell. He figured he might as well get it over with.

I was shocked, but at the same time I recognized that he had no reason to tell me all this other than as a desperate plea for help.

That help was to take years of hard work for both of us. It took  patience and a willingness to get involved on my part. On his part it took a willingness to believe that his life could be different even if his sexuality couldn't be. It took a willingness to consider new paradigms of faith and self worth.

For the first few years, I was naive enough to believe I was simply helping him to understand and accept himself for what he was and help him to understand all the reasons he had to live. Much to my surprise, the time came when I realized he had been helping me all along. We were in a real life symbiotic relationship and my efforts to change his outlook on life were allowing him to change my life as well.

This real life experience taught me that none of us are truly isolated from each other. All our lives are intertwined. We are our brothers' keeper and our brothers are not just our biological brothers.

In a world and a time when bullying, in person and on line, is reaching critical mass in the lives of young people across this nation; and in a time in which great strides are being made in societal acceptance of homosexuality, there is  at the same time a backlash of hate,. In such a time friendship can be a matter of life and death. To know that someone cares or conversely to feel that no one cares can be the difference in a person making a decision to live and face his  situation or die at his own hand.

My friends sexuality, ended up costing him almost everything he had. It did cost him everything he owned. It cost him many of his so called friends. But he came to know himself and for the first time in his life he came to know what it was to be  happy and to know that happiness was more than what he owned or what he was. Happiness was in accepting himself and being himself.

No one should be judged based on his sexuality. No one should be made to be a second class citizen becaue of his sexuality. No one should be disallowed to contribute to society because of his sexuality. Much that we value in life from fine art, to music, to architecture, to poetry is the product of the homosexual mind. All our lives are better because of those contributions throughout the ages.

No one should choose his friends based on sexuality, and no one should withhold his friendship from another based on sexuality either. We should all be aware that our attitudes and our actions can have profound effect on the lives of others.


  1. Jack,

    I just came across your blog today. We have very similar backgrounds and history so much of what you write hits very close to home for me.

    Thanks for starting this blog. I plan to follow it as I can discreetly as you probably understand what that entails.

    I have always hoped I would find a trusted friend who shares/understands my situation that I could be totally open with. It has not happened, and I am not hopeful it ever will....But, having a blog like yours is nice to have.

    Take care.

  2. The story of 'Friends' is a classic internet gem. Like you, I received this in a chain e-mail a number of years ago. I glanced at it and hastily started to speed-read thru it. A few sentences in, I stopped, went back to the beginning and read it thoroughly and thoughtfully. 'I could be Kyle' I said to myself not literally, but figuratively.

    The month before my freshman year of high school started, way back in 1988, our class was required to attend an orientation in order to know where to find classrooms and lockers in the high school. While in a line formation in one of the school hallways, one of my classmates toward the front of the line turned around and yelled, 'Hey, Tom, are you still gay?'

    I wanted to die. I barely knew this guy. Why the fuck would he say that? I wasn't very good at standing up for myself back then. I honestly don't remember what I did or said, if anything.

    Today, that dude is drug-addicted, virtually homeless, alcoholic piece of shit. And, dammit, I want to NOT feel bad for him, but I do.

    Your last sentence is so beautifully accurate. I try every day to live my life with that in mind.



I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott