This is a story about how friendship isn’t always about just liking something one of your friends has done. Frank was commissioned to do a lighthouse mural in a Silicon Valley office, and asked to paint the mural over a weekend to reduce impact on the business. Frank agreed, as long as the wall was prepared with an undercoat on Friday evening after hours, by a professional painter, according to Frank’s specifications and color. That way it would be dry and ready for the art on Saturday morning, which Frank estimated would take the entire weekend, if all went well. The wrinkle is that when Frank showed up Saturday morning to begin, the wall had not been painted. The “pro” didn’t show.
Frank had to get past his emotional response quickly, not wanting someone’s inability to perform block what he had promised to do. So, Frank went out immediately to shop for and find the paint to do the necessary undercoat. The primer coats were done, but the wall was not dry enough to begin the painting until Saturday night. Thinking of how the keeper of the light would work through the night, Frank could not shrink from his promised duty and painted all night, collapsing to nap occasionally on the seats shown in the photo above.
By late Sunday afternoon, Frank thought the mural was done, and called his wife Mary and others to come view the production, and take him home. Everyone raved when they walked in the door, while Mary showed Frank a quizzical look, after studying the mural. Frank knew that look and placed high value as always on Mary’s artistic eye. Taking her aside, she offered her view toward perfection, suggesting to Frank that the perspective on the two windows on the side of the keeper’s house was a bit askew. Frank stood back, a little bleary eyed, refocused, and saw exactly what she had pointed out while others still went on about how cool the painting had turned out. After thanking Mary for her valuable assistance, it took about 15 minutes to paint the correction. Then a smiling Frank, with Mary’s concurrence, declared the lighthouse mural done.
The business owners were very pleased Monday morning when they showed up for work, writing him a generous check, which Frank then shared with his friends in more than one celebration.
So, perhaps it is sometimes good to go beyond just liking something by offering helpful suggestions or comments that can make a difference and improve the outcome of real friendship. May we all be blessed with true friends looking out for our best interests, and may we share our good fortune with all.