“What’s happening?” I ask as a man on the street with a loudspeaker announces, “Free! Free! Free!”
“A political party is distributing spectacles free of cost for everybody!” says someone in the crowd.
“But I have my own glasses!” I tell him.
“But these are different,” the man distributing glasses walks up to me and tells me, “they will help you look beyond what you’ve been taking for granted!”
And in innocence I put them on then look at a friend approaching, “Hey!” I shout, “You look different!”
“And you look different too!” he shouts back with his free pair on.
“I didn’t know you worship God in a different way than I do!” I carry on, “How dare you!”
“With my new glasses on I realize you gave me friendship to forcibly convert me!” he growls.
And a friendship breaks.
And many a friendship has broken with these free glasses we’ve been given in our country!
But in my mind’s eye, a host of writers meet me, “Take off those glasses, they say, “that’s breaking your friendships, and that of millions of others in the country!”
“Because walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light,” whispers Helen Keller
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” smiles Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself,” quips Jim Morrison
“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world,” whispers Leo Buscaglia
“Love is flower-like; Friendship is like a sheltering tree,” says the voice of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
“Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends,” comments Virginia Woolf
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out,” remarks Walter Winchell
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down,” declares Oprah Winfrey
“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives,” Euripides announces across time to me.
And as they gently remove the free glasses given by the political party from my eyes, I hear them say with urgency, “Don’t put those glasses back again, but tell the people of this nation to throw them away, smash them, stamp on them, and pledge that they will start looking at each other again as a friend, a brother, a sister and nothing else!”
“Yes,” I whisper as without those free glasses I see my friends as friends again, “Throw away those free glasses that are spoiling old friendships and dividing us as a nation! Throw away these free glasses that have made us look at each other with distrust and suspicion! Throw them away dear friends of mine and let our nation resonate with the harmonious sounds of brotherhood once again..!”
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