“When someone shows you their true colors, believe them” I once heard Oprah say, and she was quoting someone. Over the years I have heard other motivational speakers repeat such words.  We usually think of this phrase to describe those who show an unfavorable side as in when someone treats another person poorly and yes, in that light, sometimes it does fit the bill.  However, over the last few weeks, I can honestly say, in my life, good people actually, some Chief Friends, new friends and longtime friends have shown their true colors and it is hard to adequately describe the love they have shown in my life.  In a time where we see incidents where children beat one another up on a school bus or on a playground, a social media frenzy when a British Royal Family member is struggling, parents who are found guilty of contributing to a school shooting by purchasing a gun for their troubled son, a prosecutor and attorney perjuring themselves on the stand in a courtroom when they were caught red handed spending taxpayer dollars to cavort on lavish vacations and a laundry list of man’s inhumanity towards man, I could rival that list in terms of goodness.  You might  say to yourself, “sounds like a chapter from Malcolm Gladwell’s, Outliers,” but no, these are just ordinary people who know the value of a good friend and even more important, just how to BE a friend.   These are people who live by the standard of The Golden Rule, a passage from the Gospel of Matthew 7:12,

  “In everything you do, do unto others as you  

  would have them do unto you.”

Great book, also in a white cover, I thought the red version was more appealing. Malcolm is an incredible writer, he has written for New Yorker magazine.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, he describes in one of his chapters, the phenomenon of the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, which is in the Lehigh Valley. It is a town that was studied and written about by medical doctors and social scientists because it is a community that has had a large number of people who have lived past the age of 100.  Other communities around the world have been studied for the same reason, however those  communities, often referred as the “Blue Zone” because those areas have some common denominators such as a healthy diet, people who get frequent exercise, such as walking everyday and low rates of obesity. This community doesn’t have those factors.  Here are the factors unique to Roseto, that hold the secret to a long life; a close knit community where people look out for one another, a strong faith with an active membership in the local Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, a place where people get together frequently, look out for one another, people don’t stress about the little things and people who don’t have to have much to be happy.  PBS did a documentary on this community explaining these factors with interview of residents of Roseto and those who studied it’s unique qualities. These same factors are found in good relationships.  

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Roseto, Pennsylvania where residents worship and gather for fellowship.

     As I mentioned earlier, the last few weeks, in our life, we have had the opportunity to be with some of the people in our lives who have been these special friends.  For the most part, the encounters have been planned events that were written on the calendar to gather for dinners, a few days planned together or engagements.  Other circumstances, however,  came about because a friend needed a drive to a medical appointment or contacted me get my thoughts on a situation they were dealing with and just wanted a listening ear or another opinion of a trusted individual.  In all of these situations, the value of each person was respected and honored.  When someone takes time out of their life to write a date on the calendar to get together and they either travel to be with you or meet up for a meal shared or call to ask a favor, text to find a time to talk on the phone or want your thoughts, in my opinion, they are sharing a part of their life with you and that is something not to be taken lightly.  It’s like giving someone part of a special piece of them.  You honor that.  

Macaroons from a Chief Friend last week.

     Like small pieces of a puzzle that all separately may not mean something, when put together  they create a large picture that tells a story, or one separate piece of evidence in a trial, all of the evidence put together may convince a jury, the individual factors all strung together are the makings of true friendships and long relationships, like the patches of a beautiful quilt.  Back to Roseto, all of those factors that made that town unique, resulted in people who felt valued and secure in a community, same with the close ties to one another and people feeling that they are not alone.  

Hugh Grant, center, with his friends from the movie, “Nottinghill” a British romantic comedy, who rallied around him to go “get his girl, played by Julia Roberts, before she leaves London. Your friends are there to rally around you in good and tough ❤️

     In looking at my own life, since early on, the close friendships were of value to me. Whether it was because I did not have a sister, or maybe seeking out good friends was something that I observed in my environment growing up, I’m not sure, however, what it obvious to me is that there are no special qualities unique to me in attracting these good people in my life.  I believe that anyone who takes the time to be a good friend and who makes the effort, also can have good relationships and loyal friends. These friends in my life have been there for us and we have been there for them likewise, both in the good and tough times.  These people have danced with us at weddings and put their arms around us at a cemetery, hospital or times we felt our lowest. Basically, you need to be a friend to have a friend, it’s that simple and live by the Golden Rule and when you do, “You’ll get by with a little help from your friends.”  Trust me, leading to many, many…Great Days ❤️ 

I posted some good Irish recipes in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this weekend…Here’s a Chocolate Guinness Cake. There are others too…Wishing you a Great Day and Happy St. Patrick’s Day ☘️ I III hughh