There are not a lot of people that a man needs in life. Oh, there are plenty that a man would do well to have in life. And would be better off to have, certainly. But to actually need?
There are precious few of such truly necessary people. A mother and father, naturally (otherwise he wouldn’t be here). But after that? I would argue it is a fairly short list, at that. Some debate can no doubt be had on the subject, and my readers can feel free to give their piece in the comments, as I will give mine here. The only other two on the list I would say are a good confessor and an honest friend. The former can be debated in another post, it is the latter that I address in today’s short post.
I would argue that a man needs a good and honest friend. What do I mean by “a good and honest friend?” I mean a friend who a man can confide in, and know his confidences will be respected. A person who will tell him the truth when no one else will. Someone who will tell a man the truth even when the man doesn’t want to hear the truth.
No man can be right all the time. We all make mistakes, we all err (as an aside, they are not the same thing). So it is essential to have someone in our life who will tell us what we need to hear, even and especially when we don’t want to hear it. Naturally enough, that friend also needs to be a man.
If a man has a wife, she cannot be that honest friend. If she is truly devoted to him and reveres him, then she cannot be unbiased when he is concerned. She won’t be capable of the brutal honesty required. And if she is not devoted to him, and reviles him, well then, her words cannot be trusted there either.
A man’s parents, if they still live, also cannot fulfill this role. They too are biased, by both blood and the long years of nurture that were invested in raising the man to adulthood.
No, a man needs another man, one who will act as a true brother to him. An actual brother could fill this role, but it is just as capably (if not more so) carried out by another.
So I invite my readers to stop and consider whether they have such a friend. If the answer is no, I think they would be well advised to make finding such a friend a top priority in their life.