13. Devoted: [dih-voh-tid] adjective
- zealous or ardent in attachment, loyalty, or affection
Devoted is a word that seems to invoke a feeling of epic-ness to me. So what better way to relate such an epic quality than through stories which will help us to understand and relate better to the subject.
The wonderful and witty Oscar Wilde wrote a short story for children entitled, The Devoted Friend. This satirical story tells of two friends, Little Hans and The Miller. The Miller claims to be the devoted friend of little Hans. In truth, he selfishly takes advantage of Little Hans at every opportunity in the name of friendship. Little Hans always does everything that the Miller asks him to do because unlike the Miller, he understands a great deal better what it means to be a devoted friend.
It is a lesson which teaches us that if our actions don’t match our words then they hold no value. We learn that words of friendship are hollow and damaging when used for selfishness and gain from someone who is in a position of trust. As we’ve explored the many qualities of friendship this summer we know what it takes to truly be a friend. It takes consistent, positive action, not just fine words. And of course it cannot be a true friendship unless both friends are sharing the give and take of these qualities. For as little Hans proves, you may be the very best friend but if you are friends with a Miller of your own who’s idea is, “I should expect my devoted friend to be devoted to me, of course.’' then that’s no friendship at all.
A devoted friendship is rare jewel. Not because of all the qualities that make it up but because of the one element which completes it… time. How many of our friendships show the stamp of longevity? Devoted friends are often called life-long friends. They are the friends who may not see or talk to you every day, week or month but every time you connect they are both present and genuine in their friendship with you.
True and accurate stories of devoted friendship do exist. For example Kayla has a life-long friend, Staley, who has literally been her friend since infancy. Their parents are best friends and as a result of being the same age, they were always put together. Though the two families had other children close in age most did not develop true friendships. Because of work, Staley’s parents moved their family all around the country (and sometimes out of the country) yet they still made it a priority to meet up at least once a year. As the years went by the girls grew and began to keep in touch through phone calls, emails and eventually texting & social media. When asked, Kayla credits the longevity of their friendship to continuous check-ins. They might go six or more months between contact but when they do they ask each other questions and follow up on the last things they had discussed. They are honest and open when discussing their lives and truly care about the other’s life, thoughts and feelings. When you are in a devoted friendship like this you can be detached from the situations under discussion but still be truly empathetic and receive the same in return.
In another story, the famous Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Sam shines as one of the best examples of a devoted friend. Sam & Frodo have been life-long friends and for the majority of their lives and friendship, life was easy. (When you live in the shire, how could life be hard?) However when Frodo undertakes the perils of being the ring bearer Sam joins him. After a great deal of life-threatening adventure we get this gem.
After this touching moment more drama and death defying action ensue and by the end of the story there is no doubt that we all want and need a devoted friend like Sam.
In our lives we will not have to face monsters like trolls, orcs and giant spiders, but we all have our own wars to fight and our own monsters to defeat. What better way to come out not only alive, but better for it, than to face our trials with our devoted friends by our side.
About this block: This is probably my favorite block in the whole quilt! I love a good star block. My favorite tip is one you have read before. Starch your fabrics before you cut them! It makes the whole process a lot easier. You can find block instructions in the pattern download.