A Friend Can Be a Lifesaver

When my father taught me how to swim, we started with treading water. I watched my father, his torso above water, slightly bobbing up and down. But no matter how hard I tried, my arms ended up flailing about and my body oscillated between partially to fully submerged beneath the water.

Eventually, I could tread alongside my father without making huge splashes or obviously struggling to stay upright. But although my upper body remained calm, my feet kicked ceaselessly kicked, creating silent and invisible bubbles beneath the surface.

Consider each person and their journey through life as a person treading water. Treading water is a continuous task, and life is a continuous series of obstacles. Some can tread water better than others, can kick furiously underwater and appear collected and in control above the water’s surface. Others flail.

But no one can tread easily for his or her entire life. Eventually, the waves roll and the water plays rough. It’s misleading to think someone who seems like a duck in the water can never struggle. It’s terrible to forget that beneath the surface, we are all kicking and fighting to stay upright and above water.

So when your feet tire, when arms feel heavy, when the next wave threatens to unravel everything, a friend can be a lifesaver. Your friend is there to grasp your arms and hold you, to ease the burden on your body. They can toss you a floatie or help you swim back to the shore. If you tell them what you need them to do, whether that be to listen, offer guidance, even walk alongside you until the obstacle is crossed, they will do it. They will stick by your side until you are strong enough to start treading water again on your own

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