Do you have old friends? I’m not talking about somebody who’s 92 unless you are. Do you have friends who have known you most of your life? 30, 40, 50 years? If so, you are a rich person.

Having friends who know who you were when you were young, the ambitions you had before the world got a hold of you, the friends who can talk to you honestly, and know the punchlines to all the jokes are the most important people in the world. Cherish your friends. Hold each tight in your mind and never let them go. For you will find them almost impossible to replace.

These are the friends who make you who you are. You also make them who they are. These friends may not be with you every day, and they may live far away. Yet these are the friends that are here to stay.

This is the week we give thanks for the crops of whatever we grow, whether it be corn and wheat, software programs and computers, books or mead, or anything else we work at and succeed. As we give our thanks, give thanks for our friends. Rough and gruff or tender and dear our friends give us more satisfaction and happiness than many of our crops this year.

These friends have grown with us for many decades. And, as we mature, we must remember that our friends came from the seeds of friendship we planted long ago. And as we enjoy the fruit of developing friendship, we need to remember to plant the seeds again and again throughout the year. For each harvest gives us new friends to join us as we go andgrow through life.

Thank you for being with me. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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