What’s more important?

I just spent a great weekend with my family celebrating Christmas.  As usual, my mom did an amazing job with the food and everyone was in great spirits.  A new tradition that my little brother and his wife have started is breakfast on Christmas morning – this year I was asked to bring a dish and it turned out pretty darn good if I may say so myself :) .

Anyways, during the morning we got into a conversation about a friend of our who recently paid his debt to society and is now out trying to re-enter the world.  He’s far from perfect and has a long way to go, but he says that he’s taking it day by day — I really hope he is.

My sister-in-law commented on how he made her feel uncomfortable on a recent visit — nothing that he did in particular, just his presence.  She said that she didn’t know why, and she gets that she doesn’t know him very well, so it was just a feeling.  I, on the other-hand, grew up with him.  I explained to her that growing up, he was always vying for attention — and any attention was good attention to him, even if it was bad.  But that despite all of his many many flaws, I respected that he was a man of his word.

Enter another mutual friend, one that is very close to her and my little brother.  This “friend” is one who is known to take advantage of situations and of people. I personally don’t think he is a good person because he is a proven liar.  My brother and sister-in-law insist that to know him is to love him.  I, on the other hand, still classify him as a man of no integrity because his word means nothing.

I have known both of these men, my friend and theirs, all of their natural lives – which is now around 30 years.

So which is a better person?  My brother insists that their friend is the better one because he has not been in jail and does not illicit an intimidating air.  I, on the other hand, feel that my friend is a man of his word, and therefore is a man of some integrity.  I guess it comes down to trying to define what makes a person one of quality.

I think it’s fair to say that we will probably never agree on who is the better person.  I wish my friend luck and strength to continue to take things day by day and to hopefully make good decisions.   As for their friend, I wish him well as well.

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