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Friendship Lessons From a 7 Year Old

Sometimes we can learn a lot from kids and here is a great example.  8 year old Jonah Pournazarian suffers from a rare liver disorder that only 500 people in the world are believed to have.  Researchers at the University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital believed they were close to a cure, but nearly ran out of funding.  That’s when Jonah’s best friend since preschool, 7 year old Dylan Siegel decided to do something about it.  He wrote a book entitled Chocolate Bar when he was 6.  Dylan says his friendship with Jonah is “as awesome as a chocolate bar.”  Sales of his book had raised over half a million dollars prior to a segment on ABC News on television and every cent is going to the University of Florida lab where Dr. David Weinstein believes they are very close to that cure.  The book sells for $20 a copy. At the writing of this blog sales went over the $600,000 mark according to the book’s facebook page and they are hoping to get to a million.  Recently the hospital gave Dylan an award for his efforts.  I don’t know for sure, but have a hunch he really doesn’t care about the award, he just wants to help his friend.  That is the definition of friendship.  In my mind you can define friend in many ways, but here’s my take in Dylan’s case.  F is for fellowship.  He enjoys being with his friend and doing fun things together.  R is for respect.  It’s needed in any relationship, from marriage to parenting.  I is for intimacy.  I have shared thoughts with my best friend I wouldn’t share with any one else because there is a total trust gained with a lifetime of knowing each other. E is for emotion.  With your very best friend, you can share any emotion, including anger and they will truly understand.  N is for nobility.  A selflessness that’s hard to put into words and I believe Dylan is exhibiting it in the most innocent way.  True nobility doesn’t happen conciously.  D is for diligence.  You couldn’t be more diligent than Dylan has been.  His friend needs to find a cure, he doesn’t want to lose his friend, the hospital trying to find a cure needs money for research and so he’s doing something about it.  That’s diligence!  I am blessed with a friendship like Dylan’s and I hope you are lucky enough to be too.  It’s MORE awesome than a chocolate bar in my book. You can order a copy of the book from the website and hopefully someday Dylan can be Jonah’s best man at his wedding.



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