I walked with a friend to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the owner politely. The owner, however, did not even acknowledge it. "A sullen fellow, isn't he?" I commented as we walked away. "Oh, he's that way every night," shrugged my friend. "Then why do you continue being so polite to him?" I asked, and my friend replied, "Why should I let him determine how I'm going to act?
When you're young, you always think you'll meet all sorts of wonderful people, that drifting apart and losing friends is natural. You don't worry, at first, about the friends you leave behind. But as you get older, it gets harder to build friendships. Too many defenses, too little opportunity. You get busy. And by the time you realize that you've lost the dearest best friend you've ever had, years have gone by and you're mature enough to be embarrassed by your attitude and, frankly, by your arrogance.