Talk to me my Friend
How to be a Friend
Derek Morgan: “Garcia, I’ll tell you what you are to me. You are my God given solace. I want you to promise me one thing, whatever happens, don’t you ever stop talking to me.
Penelope Garcia: “I can’t right now because I’m mad at you.”
Derek Morgan: “I can wait.”
Be Safe My Loves
This exchange takes place in the episode titled “Mayhem” of the TV series Criminal Minds. Derek Morgan is a special agent with the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. Penelope Garcia is the FBI’s technical analysis and is able to find any information on any person anywhere from her room filled with computers and other serviallace type equipment. She is excellent at her job--quick and accurate. The above conversation takes place after Derek has just put himself in harms way as he and the team try to foil an act of terror. He does not follow protocol but there is no time if he is to save lives. Garcia is talking to him giving directions on where to drive a vehicle filled with explosives and is understandably scared for him.
Morgan and Garcia are not only co-workers they are friends and he rely on her to “talk to him” giving him the information he needs to get him to his goal safely. The entire team of special agents think of her as their miracle worker. Morgan and supervisor special agent Aaron Hotchner will often tell Garcia “make me some magic.” Garcia rely on the team to accept her for who she is and to always return safely. You often hear her tell the team as they leave “be safe my loves.” She worry about them, is loyal to them, is dependable and supportive. Garcia is not only a great employee she is a good friend who will go above and beyond to make them successful in their jobs.
What is Friendship?
You might say that this is a TV show and what does any of this have to do with friendship? Let me explain. This kind of team work and friendship does not often happen in the real world, especially in places of employment, but it could and it should. There is trust, honesty, loyalty, sharing, respect, caring, laughter--they do not judge each other, they forgive when needed, they listen, are considerate, kind and understanding and they do not gossip. If we, each of us, decided to exhibited any of these traits we would be making a step to becoming a great friend and building wonderful relationships.
Do you know someone who is caring, comforting, nice, or any of the other traits listed above, who knows how to listen and when to talk. Being a good friend to someone whether it be for a moment or for a lifetime is not about being in a particular clique or that you want to get in good with the popular girls/women or boys/men. It is about trust, honesty and the willingness to be a soft place for someone to land.
BFF (best friends forever) has become a trendy catch-phrase and the surprising thing I’ve found is it really means different things to most people--and the differences may be generational. When you think about the number of people in the US alone, the Oprah Winfrey/Gail King type of BFF’s may be relatively rare. Let‘s go back a moment….I am really not talking about the BFF type of friendship.
The type of friend I’m trying to describe has no real definition, but you know it when it happens. It will sometimes appear out of nowhere when you need it most and disappear just as quickly when the need is no long apparent. But the feeling and thought stay for a lifetime. Let me illustrate….this little story has made it’s rounds on the internet and in email inboxes for some time. A dear, dear friend sent it to me just…when I needed it most.
A four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was a elderly gentleman, recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old man’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy replied, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.” Have you ever been on the verge of tears, trying really hard not to cry when someone touch your hand or gives you a hug? All of a sudden the flood gates open and there you are in a heap crying buckets.
Being a friend, a good friend, a best friend has no time frame or age requirements. It doesn’t mean hanging out, telling secrets or going “everywhere” together. A friend may just be there to help us cry, give a hug, hold our hand or do nothing but just be present.
When Garcia sends her team off to capture the bad guys with “be safe my loves” she was sending them off with a powerful message. She’s letting them know she is as close as a phone call, whatever they need she will make sure they get it, her support comes from a level of respect for herself, her technical ability and in them and their abilities to do their jobs; and, most importantly she is letting them know she expect them--her co-workers, her friends to take care of themselves and each other.
So, what is the value is having and being a good friend? I think the answer may be different for many people. It depends a great deal on, I think, ones environment ie. how we were raised, what our needs are, how we feel about ourselves, etc. And maybe a little on the level of friendship we find in each person--casual friends, professional friends, true friends, life long friends.
“I’ll tell you what you are to me. You are my God given solace.”
Solace is comfort in times of trouble, sorrow or distress; to console. When Morgan said that to Garcia my breath caught in my throat and tears sprang to my eyes. What a wonderful thing to say to someone. If someone say that to you know that you are valued, trusted and honored. In this one statement you will know that you may be just one person to the world, but to that one person you may be the world---for one moment in time.
Here is a tip: Be the friend to someone else that you want someone to be to you. Don’t be selfish always being the needy person. Don’t expect so much that the other person feels worn and used. And, above all do not abuse the other persons generous spirit. Make sure you are there for them when they need someone.
A Final Thought
As I write this I can’t say that I have ever had a BFF. This may be because, as an adult, I moved around a lot--better job opportunities, etc. I have had some wonderfully amazing friends and there are two women I know for sure that I can call any time of the day or night if I am ever in true need. We don’t talk much….we each (3) live in different states but when we do talk it is as if we left off in our conversation the day before. If I can be granted the liberty of redefining BFF (best friend forever) these two women would be BFF’s. One lives in Texas, the other in California and I love them and their generosity of spirit very much.
Love to all,