Albus Dumbledog perches on a tall boulder, his head at the height of the man standing in front of him. The man scratches Albus' neck, whose tongue lolls out in happiness. Both dog and man look delighted by their situation.
This card reminds me that loyalty is a two-way street. The man might say Albus is loyal - coming when called, waiting patiently by the door for his humans to return. From Albus' perspective, though, his humans are equally loyal. They take him out for regular walks, feed him, scratch his neck and rub his tummy, throw his balls for him.
My conclusion, then, is that most often we get what we give in this regard. Treating others with honour, respect and love will likely earn us the same. There are exceptions, but living life this way beats most other options!
I haven't been as good in this respect as I could have been. Today, an old friend is coming to visit with her two kids, one of whom is my godson. Yet, I haven't seen them since before Christmas, even though we live only two stops apart on the tube. That's the underground rail system for any non-Brit reading :)
The fault is largely my own, I know. Part of it is that we both have busy family and work lives, but larger by far is the fact that I have often found it hard to spend time with her and her perfect children. Obviously, no-one is really perfect, still the comparisons are sometimes painful for me, living daily with Big Boy. Her youngest is just three months older than he is, yet the two are worlds apart. And it might not bother me so much, except that she is very much a family-focused person. Even when her kids aren't there, she talks about them a good deal. Which is understandable, and yet can be difficult. Then, I feel guilty for my envy, for the way her life highlights how different things could be. And so I don't always reply to emails or texts as quickly as I could, I find reasons why today isn't a good day...
I am grateful for the reminder that if I want good friends, I must also be a good friend.