Paynesville Press - August 7, 2002

Community Perspective

Three Fs - faith, family, and friends - are important

By Roy Colbert

The closer I come to the closing of my life, the more I realize how important the three Fs are in it.

The three Fs I'm speaking of are faith, family, and friends. The latter two we take for granted too often.

Since the episode of 9/11, I do not believe that I'm the only one whose thoughts have turned increasingly towards things of truer substance. It is my faith, which has helped me with that. My faith has helped me see beyond the present to a hoped-for future, for not only America but also a world built on understanding and mutual respect.

Yes, I am an optimist, but my faith dictates that to be so.

The second F is my family, the backbone of any society. They are and continue to be the greatest source of my inspiration. Always encouraging, ever loving and caring.As the years take me towards my destiny, I appreciate more and more the time spent with them. They've taught me what true love is all about.

The last F is that of friends. "Son, you don't discard friends like a pair of old shoes. The older the shoes, the more comfortable the wear," my mother once said.

She was right, of course, as she was about so many things in life.

Friends are very precious and should be treated as such. I once told my oldest daughter, Crystal, that she was fortunate to have the quality she had in her friendships. She readily agreed.

She felt very comfortable calling her friends at 3 a.m. if the need arose, knowing that they would be there for her. "But more than that," she said, "they are willing to listen."

He or she is truly blessed who has the trust of a friend. I'm thankful for mine.

A couple of people said that I should have added a fourth F for fun. Fun was included in all the other Fs. May it ever be so.

Colbert has lived in Paynesville for more than 25 years.

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