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A Special Post

Posted Apr 13 2010 10:48am

Since Tuesday’s are my ridiculously long days, this post is brought to you by a very special person. As some of you know, my dad is an English teacher and has lived all over the world teaching English as a foreign language. He recently shared a piece of writing by one of his students that I thought was incredible and immediately contacted the author for permission to post it.

Soukaina Rachidi is a freshman at an American university majoring in international relations. Her goal is to change the world person by person.

The True Treasure

A friend can be so many things, but they are first and foremost the guardians of our dignity, integrity and beliefs. As humans we are prone to being pigheaded, proud and unyielding, yet we are also guilty of being overly self-critical, cynical and unforgiving. People often cast harsh rulings on themselves without a “fair trial”, because they provide their own evidence and defence. But we all know that a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client. Friends are the objective jury, who examine all evidence and scenarios before making a decision. Everyone is entitled to a “fair trial”, which is why nobody should be exempt from the blessing of a good friend.

We all have lapses in judgment, but if we’re lucky, there will always be someone to uphold our beliefs, even when we falter. We pray that there will always be someone to patiently refute the disparaging comments we make about ourselves, listen to our incessant complaining everyday as if it’s the first time they’ve ever heard it and soothe the fears of the demons that haunt us from deep within. A friend saves us from mercilessly beating our self confidence into oblivion, by reminding us of who we truly are. We are what we think of ourselves, and left to our own devices we would have no self esteem to speak of. Right or wrong, bad or ugly, good or bad, our friends will always help us find out what went wrong and how we can go about fixing it. All we need to do is ask.

One could say that being a good friend is the most selfless act of kindness you can render upon another human being. Although some people think charity is a global crusade to save the helpless, and in some ways it is, change doesn’t have to be radical to be profound. You don’t have to have money, own property or be powerful to be a good friend; in fact I would argue that all the aforementioned is alienating. Being a true friend mean sacrifice, its means fearlessly standing up for them and taking the blows of the unjust attacks they direct at themselves. A true friend is willing to see the good in you, even when you can’t see it in yourself. And last but not least, a true friend loves you even when you feel like you can’t love yourself.

This has no basis in linguistic history, but I feel that the word friend stemmed from merging 2 words together: free and end. When we are in trouble, when we are afraid, when we lose all hope, our friends help us find a resolution, expecting very little in return. Essentially, a “free” way to an end, an end to all the things that hurt us and all things that make us uncomfortable. Having said that, don’t forget to be the friend that you want, so you can find the friend you need in times of hardship.

I dedicate this to all the amazing friends that I’ve had throughout the years, thank you.

Thank you, Soukaina :)

*****************

Amidst the craziness of my Tuesday, I found time to eat. Of course!

I was up by 6am eating breakfast this morning- blueberry almond butter pro-yoats . (Sorry, Sophia - the protein powder is back!)

Picture or Video 1177

1/3 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, Quark , 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, blueberries and almond butter

Followed by the gym and then group. My brain is always so fried by Tuesday afternoons…the rest of the day is spent trying to slow down my brain and just chill out. I can’t even start processing what we discussed until a few days have passed…recap to come once I have.

As per my usual Tuesday routine, lunch was a mish-mosh of snacks eaten quite literally on-the-go. Today’s packed ‘lunch’ included one of the protein muffins I baked over the weekend with Laughing Cow cheese.

Picture or Video 1178

Damn, this was good. So good in fact that I missed my bus so I could run into the store on my way home to pick up some strawberry applesauce to make another batch when these are gone. Muffins = love.

As soon as I came home, I grabbed another snack.

Picture or Video 1179

Cooked muesli with Fage

Also in-line with my Tuesday routine is “Kitchen Sink” dinners…

Picture or Video 1183

  • garlic and herb marinated chicken (first time cooking raw chicken in about 6 years!)
  • steamed kabocha
  • roasted onions, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms
  • spinach
  • alfalfa sprouts

I may not be in New York right now, but I can recreate the flavours of my favourite diner meal at home, right?

Oh, and look what I came home to!

Picture or Video 1181

My dad stopped by while I was out and hung up the mirror and memo board I got at the weekend :) Thanks, dad!

Questions:

  1. What is your definition of a true friend? I think a true friend is somebody you can be completely yourself with. Who might not agree with the choices you make, but will still stand by you and support you. Somebody you can laugh with, cry with and share with, without fear of being judged or shot down. I also love what Soukaina said- especially, “A friend saves us from mercilessly beating our self confidence into oblivion, by reminding us of who we truly are” and “a true friend loves you even when you feel like you can’t love yourself.”
  2. Have you ever recreated restaurant dishes at home? Anytime I eat chicken and tzatziki, I am reminded of my diner . I really want to recreate my two favourite sandwiches !

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