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Friends and True Friends - know the difference. Or learn it fast.

Now this one may need a sour or bitter taste in many mouths out there, but I'm gonna say it anyway - when you know what kind you are, go on ahead and swallow your mouthful, cupful or bowl-ful of sour or bitter and learn how to shape up and be genuine or gracefully embrace your place as one of the fairweather variety, for whatever it's worth.

There is a very stark difference between friends and true friends who become your family. Some of us take longer than other to learn that difference, but I'm putting it out there in hopes that us slower learners get it that much faster. Comedian Steve Harvey said it one morning during the first 12 minutes of his radio show, where he inspires only and reminds himself of life's lessons in faith and other important qualities (forgive the paraphrasing but you'll get the gist):

"you want lots of friends, go hit the lotto. you want real friends, go get you in some trouble."

It's true: you can and will have lots of friends who show their pride when things are going well. But when you hit your lowest lows, it's the people who stand in the gap for you - whether it's just checking up on you with a message, email or missed call - that are your true friends. Experience the difference - or learn through those of us who already know.

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