acquire a teacher and choose a friend

I’ve been reading “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok.  There have been a couple of lines that grabbed me, made me think and want to come back to them.  Here’s one dialogue…

” ‘Ah,’ my father murmured.  He was silent for a moment.  Then he said quietly, ‘Reuven, listen to me.  The Talmud says that a person should do two things for himself.  One is to acquire a teacher.  Do you remember the other?’

‘Choose a friend,’ I said.

‘Yes.  You know what a friend is, Reuven?  A Greek philosopher said that two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul.’

Acquire a teacher and choose a friend.

I have a couple of women in my life who are significantly older than me.  I look to them as mentors, as role models, as people who will guide me and correct me.  They are not technically teachers, but they do teach me a lot.

I have a couple of women in my life who are about the same age as me.  Give or take a year or two.  I look to them as confidantes, encouragers, supporters, and so much more.  They’re the ones who show up three minutes after my bf breaks up with me even when I don’t want them to, the ones who know my parents and my awesome kid brother.

I don’t have ONE teacher and ONE friend, but I do have a couple.  I see the value in having one – no mixed messages, no confusion over loyalties.  One friend that you go to when crises arise or when you get the internship you’ve been praying for.  One teacher that you trust completely and don’t question.

Can the friend change as circumstances dictate?  What about when the friend you’ve chosen gets married and moves away?  When someone new comes in and takes you by surprise and you are so captivated and blessed by them that it can only be from the Creator and Giver of friendship?  Or does the friend endure, superseding the hurricanes and tsunamis and sunny days?  Is that what makes the chosen one your friend?

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