“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
I have many friends who are dreamers, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Every once in a while, one of those friends will get a big break, make an appearance on television, and announce the good news on Facebook.
Without fail, such announcements are embraced with a wild frenzy of fanfare:
“I knew you’d make it!”
“You’ve always had the gift, my friend!”
“I’m so proud of you!”
“Holy moly! I remember when you talked about this back in high school!”
But it’s easy to be an outspoken friend when your buddies are already receiving lots of attention for doing creative work.
Who wouldn’t want to be seen congratulating an old friend-turned-pop-star?
Unfortunately, most of the members of the congratulatory crowd are deafeningly silent when nothing exciting is going on.
Many creative-types struggle to get their acquaintances to turn an attentive eye to any of the day-to-day details involved in their quest for an imaginative and inspired life.
Those aren’t the kinds of friends dreamers, artists, and entrepreneurs need.
We need people who will speak up and support us before we’ve written a best-seller.
We need people who will show interest in our work before the rest of the world does.
We need people to believe in us before faith is no longer required.
For the would-be dreamer, the most discouraging force is not the harsh criticism of cynics, haters, and naysayers, but the indifferent and disinterested attitudes of friends and family.
If you know someone who’s trying to achieve an unconventional dream, don’t be a silent friend.
Don’t wait until they’re doing the Oprah interview before you express your pride and support.
Take a little time to let them know you’re aware of what they’re doing.
I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.