Constituents, Comrades, and ConfidantsJuly 19, 2022
Many years ago there was a group of Illinois Army National Guard guys from the Company B 682nd Engineers that was doing training in Lawrenceville Illinois. We had come to the end of the day, and our First Sergeant took us to a quarry for some R&R. We all piled out of the M35 2.5 truck sprinting toward the water. With the ignorance and exuberance of youth, we dove in heading to the rope swing on the opposite bank. Those old Battle Dress Uniforms had pockets galore. Those pockets started filling up with water. I was about half way across, and I knew I was in trouble. Tim was behind me off to the left. I said, “I don’t think I can make it”. Tim has always been cool, calm, and collected. He was that day too. With just a glance at him, I knew I had backup.
T. D. Jakes did a sermon once on Constituents, Comrades, and Confidants. Constituents are for what you are for. They may vote the same. They want the same benefits you want from and employer. You might think you have an ally, but when they get what they want, the friend you thought you had moves on.
Comrades have a common enemy with you. They are against what you are against. These friends are like scaffolding. They are very close to you and come into your life to fulfill a purpose; and when the purpose is completed, the scaffolding is removed. Comrades will form new alliances with Constituents or other Comrades and vote you off the island. It’s not personal, but it feels personal. They are not against you, they are for themselves. A counselor will tell, this is one reason why many people don’t let others get too close. It hurts when they leave.
Confidants are for you. Confidants are those people in your life who are truly for you! For you! When comrades/constituents go running from you, confidants are the people that run to you. Confidant’s love you unconditionally. They are into you. Whether you are up or down, right or wrong. They are with you for the long haul. They are there for the victories, and they are there when life deals its heavy blows. Death of loved ones, sickness, or a child who has lost their way, these confidants are rolling up their sleeves. They know the stuff about you that you hope others never find out. Constituents and Comrades are taking the elevator past you, while you and your Confidants are working your way up the stairs. If you’re are lucky, you have one or two Confidants in a lifetime. You don’t need more than that.
We got to the other side of the quarry. I don’t know what Tim would have done. We are both as big as a house, but I was in trouble.
When he said, “I got you”, I knew he had me. It gave me the encouragement to keep reaching.
John Randall is an intern at Samaritan Counseling Center. He is a Lamar University graduate. His career consist of being an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter at Jack Brooks Regional Airport for 20 years. He was the Fire Chief at the airport until becoming Director of the Fire Academy at Lamar Institute of Technology in 2014. He is also 33-year veteran of the Army and Texas Air National Guard. As this portion of his career comes to an end, he is studying Clinical Mental Health at Lamar. The plan is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor, and concentrate on the Mental Health of at risk youth, first responders, and veterans. In his free time he spends time in his art studio, chasing grandkids, and an occasional round of golf. John is supervised by Barbara Courville, MBA, LPC-S.