Living Moments (Part 24)

by Patrick Liew on April 26, 2012

This morning, an old friend walked into my office unannounced. I’ve known him since my army days, more than thirty years ago.

Strange as it might sound, when we first met, I was his platoon commander and he was j…ust a recruit. Somehow, we continued to meet even after we ran-out-of-date in the army (military term for the last day in service).

We got along well and became good friends. I was even chosen to be the best man at his wedding. Shortly after that, we went separate ways and he spent most of his life overseas.

As I reflected about our relationship over the years, I realized he would call upon me mostly when he needed help. And I would always be there for him.

Please allow me to clarify that he was by no means exploiting me or abusing our friendship. He considered me his confidante and although he was quite a sceptical person, he would open his heart to me and share his secrets with me.

Just today, he told me, “Among all my friends, you’re the only person that my wife can trust”. As I knew his wife to be a reserved and analytical person, I took the statement as a compliment and thanked him for it.

From a traditional business point of view or for that matter, many persons’ point of view, my friendship with him is not a good investment. I’ve gotten little from him but I’ve given to him a lot of my time and energy, and in some ways, money too.

Do I regret it? This question has never even crossed my mind because the answer is a definite No.

Why then do I ask this question? Because in my humble opinion, I feel that the quality of friendships in society has dwindled over the years. I hope I’m wrong but somehow there are many people out there who will evaluate friendship on the basis of some kind of a bottom line, financial or otherwise.

The Chinese people of my generation may be able to tell you of a code of honor that many of us will live by when it comes to friendships. The term in hanyu pinyin is ‘Yi Qi’.

There is no equivalent word in the English language to describe this sense of affinity. It’s almost like if you count the person as a friend, you should not expect anything from him.

In addition, you should be there for him in any season and make the necessary sacrifices to protect his honor. You should stand by him in times of needs.

My friend came to me today to ask for help. I gladly told him that I would do whatever I can to help him.

I am happy to have a friend. I’m happy that I can be of service to him. To me, that’s what the basis of friendship is all about.

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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