Better friends. Better people.

Last Friday wifey and I were at Megamall to have my NBI clearance renewed for my new job. The day was a little horrendous, with the mall packed with a lot more people than usual because of the 3-day sale. Anyways, having accomplished our mission, Joy and I decided to stroll around a bit, and one of the stores we visited was Comic Quest. Now I haven’t been buying comic books for more than a year now, ever since those bigwigs at DC Comics opted to imitate Marvel by turning their superheroes into drama queens while introducing all-new inconsistencies to continuity (really pissed me off). But hey, all back-issues were 50% off. One of the books I picked up was Justice League of America #0.

There was one thing that Superman said there that immediately drew my attention:

“As in any social setting, your friends are the ones you consider your equals. But your best friends — your closest friends — are the ones you consider your betters.”

One of the marks of a good writer (in this case Brad Meltzer, who I still call a good writer despite my hating his work with Identity Crisis) is being insightful enough to recognize the more subtle truths in life that most of us mere mortals overlook or totally miss out on. I reflected upon this quote and realized just how true it is for me. That whenever I look or think of my closest friends, the very first things I see are the ways they are better than me. To illustrate:

Rollee, best friend since high school – the better artist

Oyee, best friend since high school – the more streetsmart, the better dresser

Rachel, UCPB best friend – the better judge of character

Archie, UCPB best friend – the better programmer

Cathy – the better organizer

Shy – the better singer, the (much) more physically fit (but them, almost all of them are)

Mike – the better housekeeper, the more disciplined

Markku – the better bachelor (meaning he’s making much better use of his time than I ever did when I was single)

Charina – the more insightful, the more mature person (yeah, don’t let her down-to-earth behavior fool you)

Hana – the more compassionate person

Ellen – same as Hana

And of course, my best friend in the whole world, my wife, Joy – the more patient, the emotionally stronger, better money handler, more polite, more likeable, more kindhearted — in a nutshell, the all-around better person.

(and no, we haven’t been fighting so the above weren’t some lame excuse so I could avoid being outside-the-kulambo =p )

It’s a double-edged sword, actually. It is always good to consider others better than you. And when it comes to closest friends, I realized that thinking of them as my betters comes naturally. Why? Let’s face it, wanting to be someone’s close friend means there’s something about someone that we like very much, and more often than not this is a something that we don’t have in ourselves. Simplifying, your closest friends become your idols of some sort because you admire them for the things they have, or do, that you don’t, or couldn’t.

The downside: idolizing your close friends too much could be harmful. Two reasons:

(1) No matter how good a person a best friend is, he/she could still let us down. They’re humans, after all, and therefore are as prone to human mistakes just like you and I. Only Jesus, our best friend in the universe (even though we neglect to acknowledge Him as such) could never let us down. So try to avoid looking at your closest friends as the reason for your existence.

(2) Sometimes putting someone on the pedestal involves putting ourselves down, i.e. it makes us feel inferior, and therefore could lead us into a gnawing sense of insecurity. Which really shouldn’t be. We may automatically see our best friends are our betters, but we must also remember that the attitude is more than likely reciprocal — they also see us as our betters one way or another.

So. Welcome to the Mutual Admiration Society =D

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quistian

An incorrigible Gen-X cynic who writes too damn much

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