Friends. You gotta have 'em, but sometimes they drive you crazy. You love 'em, but sometimes they make you mad. They'll help you through a crisis...unless they are the crisis.
|Publisher:||Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC|
|Series:||Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jack Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Hometown:Santa Barbara, California
Date of Birth:August 19, 1944
Place of Birth:Fort Worth, Texas
Education:B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
Read an Excerpt
The Stranger Within
After the verb "to love," "to help" is the most beautiful verb in the world.
Bertha von Suttner
It was one of those sweltering, hot days in the middle of July when all you can do is dream of the cold winter days that you hated only months earlier. One of those sultry days when you either yearn for a swim in a pool or crave a cool drink. In my case, all my friends who had pools I could invite myself into were away on vacation, and the public pools were out of the question unless I could learn to enjoy suffocating myself in chlorine with hundreds of other delirious people. Instead, I decided to go to the neighborhood café where they sold my favorite dessert, frozen yogurt. Since my parents hadn't given me a car for my sixteenth birthday, the only option I had was to walk.
Dragging a friend along, we headed for the ice-cream shop, almost passing out from the burning heat of the angry sun on the way. As we trudged along, my friend continuously grumbled about the heat and why she had so foolishly decided to come with me on this hair-brained quest for frozen yogurt. I just shrugged, perspiration dotting my forehead, mumbling.
"We're almost there. Just think of cool air conditioning and the sweet taste of frozen yogurt on your tongue. It'll be worth the walk," I assured her.
I had to admit to myself that the café was quite a distance from our house. I was beginning to get extremely thirsty, and my head was reeling from the smoggy air.
When we were about a block away from the café, I noticed her for the first time. She was old, somewhere in her mid-seventies I guessed. She had this awful arch in her burly shoulders as if she couldn't hold the heavy weight of her large chest. Her curly hair was frizzy from the heat and dyed a horrible greenish-yellow, which was clashing dreadfully with her neon pink shirt. She was struggling, pushing a squeaking grocery cart full of what appeared to be beauty-salon items.
Besides all her extraordinarily gaudy clothing, her most dominant feature was the deep frown she wore. At first, I thought it was from the harrowing heat, but with each step toward us her scowl increased, creating a more disturbing picture of a very unhappy soul. It seemed as though she hated the very air she breathed, reminding me of the cantankerous lady who used to live on our street, the one my friends and I called The Witch.
I glanced at my friend to see if she had noticed her. I could tell she had, for she was wearing the usual disgusted face she wore when she disliked something and somehow felt superior to it. My friend was the type of person who was very conscious of what others might think of her. She wanted to remain flawless to the world so, when she was presented with someone who was different in any way, she became arrogant and condescending.
As we drew closer to the lady pushing the grocery cart, my friend directed us as far away as she could, until we were nearly walking on the road. I began to observe the many others that were passing by. They, too, were avoiding her at all cost as if she were a leper or a criminal of some kind.
The lady stared blankly ahead, her wobbling knees hitting the sides of the cart. Somehow, I felt ashamed at my reaction, but that didn't stop me from hurrying by. Just as we made it past her, I heard this horrible sound from behind me and quickly turned around to see what it was.
The lady's cart had been knocked over and her soap, perfume and shampoos were scattered across the pavement. Shocked, I looked at the lady's hunched back trembling as she slowly bent with great care to begin collecting her items.
I gulped. Many things were running through my head. I looked at my friend inquiringly. "What should we do?" I asked quietly.
"What should we do? We shouldn't do anything!" my friend said, rolling her eyes heavenward.
"Yeah, I know, but it looks like she needs help," I responded softly as the lady began feebly assembling a couple of perfume bottles into her lap.
"Well, I'm sure she's okay. Someone else will help her. Besides, we didn't knock her cart over . . . ," my friend said with cold logic and then started to walk ahead. I stood there for a minute thinking. Something was tugging at the strings of my heart and, all of a sudden, I felt great compassion for this pitiful lady. At that very moment, I knew what I had to do.
"Are you coming?" my friend called over her shoulder impatiently.
"No, I'm going to help her," I said with determination as I began to head back toward the lady.
"What? Amy . . ." my friend groaned through clenched teeth, giving me that look that said, Don't test me, and don't expect me to follow you.
I didn't pay attention to my friend as I cautiously knelt down beside the lady who was now furiously attempting to set her cart upright once more. I could feel the inquiring, skeptical eyes of the passersby. I knew they were thinking I was crazy for helping her or, worse, that I had clumsily knocked over her cart and therefore was assisting her out of duty.
"Here, let me help you," I said gently, as I began to position the cart upright.
The lady slowly glanced up, her large eyes filled with such fear, sadness and pain that I was frightened by her stare. I gulped and then, hesitantly, began putting the items back into her cart.
"Go away," she grumbled, throwing a tube of cream into her cart. "I don't need your help."
Shocked, I backed away from her seething stare and looked up at my friend who was haughtily standing by, glaring with her arms folded smugly against her chest. I sighed.
"No, I want to help you," I continued, putting three more shampoo bottles into the cart. The lady peered at me as though I was crazy. Maybe I was, but I knew that I was supposed to help her. She didn't stop me this time so I helped her put away the rest of her items. I was stunned by how many people walked by and hopped over certain disarrayed items in their paths, not even offering a sympathetic word or glance. What astounded me even more was when a cute guy whom I had liked for as long as I could remember was one of the uncaring, selfish people who strolled by. I was embarrassed by his reaction when he first saw me in a humiliating situation and then disgusted by his self-centered attitude.
When the last item was put back into the cart, I slowly rose to my feet, flinching as the lady awkwardly stood as well. I supposed she would walk by without looking at me, but then I realized I was guilty of misjudging her character.
I waited as she straightened her bent head, sniffled and slowly peered up at me. Her large dejected eyes were filled with a wonder I couldn't express in words. As an innocent tear dribbled down her ashen cheek, I was sure I could see a hint of a smile.
"Thank you," she whispered in a hushed tone. My throat tightened and tears threatened to fall down my cheeks.
"You're welcome," I murmured, offering a smile.
And you know what? She smiled then and a beautiful peacefulness washed over her once-stern countenance. I grinned widely as she cordially nodded her head and continued down the street, slowly creeping out of my life as quickly as she had appeared. Yet I knew that her smile and gratefulness would always be imprinted upon my life and heart.
When I finally had my frozen yogurt and my friend was still complaining about the embarrassment I had caused her, I felt gratitude well up within me. At that very moment, I didn't care anymore what other people thought. I was going to do the right thing, even if it meant losing or embarrassing my friends. I smiled to myself because even though I had helped that lady in such a small way, she had helped me more by showing me how I could be different in the world and how good that could feel.
One Single Rose
It was Valentine's Day, my freshman year of high school. I was so young, the romantic type, and I longed for a boyfriend or secret admirer. I walked the halls seeing couples holding hands, girls with huge smiles on their faces, and dozens of roses being delivered to "that special someone." All I wanted was a rose. A single rose to brighten up my Valentine's Day. But I was picky. I didn't want the rose from my parents, my sister or even my best friend. I wanted it from a secret admirer.
Valentine's Day at school was over, and I had no rose to hang in my locker like I had hoped. I came home a little sad and hoped next year's Valentine's Day would be better. I sat in my room dreaming about next year's romantic Valentine's Day when the doorbell rang. There at the front door was a deliveryman delivering one single rose to my house. Surely this rose wasn't for me. I didn't have such luck. I closed the front door with a single rose in my hand and gave it to my mother. "Open the card!" she insisted when I told her it must be for her. I unsealed the envelope as my hands were shaking. Why were my hands shaking? I knew it wasn't for me. I slowly lifted the card and read what it said:
From someone who cares
I must have read it twenty times in a matter of seconds, praying my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. But they weren't. The rose was for me. I must have been happy for about five minutes, until I started calling the obvious people and accusing them of sending me a rose and playing a joke on my hopelessly romantic heart. No one knew who sent it to me. My friends, family and relatives were as surprised to hear I got a rose from a secret someone as much as I was. I was on cloud nine for weeks. Every time in high school that I felt down, I would think about my freshman year's Valentine's Day and a smile would appear.
Senior year rolled around and the dreaded February fourteenth was once again upon us. That year I received at least six carnations (a carnation-selling fundraiser was held at school that year), all from my best friends. I walked around with a big smile on my face, holding my flowers. Even though they were just from friends, they made me happy.
The end of the day was drawing to a close, and I had two classes left to show off my flowers. I walked into my French class and noticed one of my closest friends, Kristen, looking upset. I had grown to know my French classmates pretty well, since I had spent three of my high-school years with the same people in one class. We'd turned into a little French family. Well, my friend saw me walk in with my six flowers and lowered her head with tears in her eyes. She hadn't received a single flower. Not even from her best friend.
We talked a few minutes before class, and some very familiar words came out of her mouth. "All I wanted was one single rose." My heart ached as I heard those words. The familiar sense of loneliness I had felt as a freshman, she was feeling now. I wanted to do something. It was too late to purchase carnations, and I couldn't get her anything on a break because school was almost over. Finally, I figured it out. My freshman year. The single rose. That was it; that was what I had to do.
I told my mom about my plan and asked her if we could try to find a rose after our Valentine's dinner out. She remembered having seen a bucket of roses at a local drug store, so we rushed over and purchased the last good-looking rose and a small card. In order to preserve my identity, my mom wrote in the card what I dictated to her:
From someone who cares
We drove to her house trying to be discreet. I ran up to the front door, put the rose in her mailbox, rang the doorbell, ran back to the car and drove away. All the feelings of happiness I had felt my freshman year came flooding back. I just kept thinking that I was going to make someone feel as special as I had three years earlier.
The next day in school, Kristen came up to me and gave me a hug with tears in her eyes. She had realized it was me by the handwriting. I guess my mom and I are more alike than I thought. She cried and said it was the nicest thing anyone had done for her in a while.
I never did figure out who it was who sent me that rose. But I did figure something else out. It didn't matter if it was a guy who secretly loved me who sent me that rose. What mattered was that it was from someone who cared about me and wanted to brighten up my day.
2000 Amanda Bertrand
The Bigger Man
Although I am the younger brother, I have always felt like my brother's keeper. Even now that Brian is seventeen and I am sixteen, I still watch out for him because, though chronologically I lag behind, my parents have encouraged me to take the nurturing role.
You are probably thinking that my brother is either mentally or physically handicapped-he is neither. I'm not sure if his "nature" was born or created. My mom has treated him like fine china ever since his birth. Maybe it's because there were problems with his delivery. She often recounts how the umbilical cord became wrapped around poor Brian's neck, and how he could have strangled on it had the doctor not rescued him with a Caesarean delivery. Although Brian went full-term, his tiny size reflected his future fragility within the family.
After Brian's birth, my mom grew more religious. She made all sorts of deals with God to watch over her tiny infant in exchange for her spiritual devotion. A year later, I was born. I was the quintessential bouncing baby boy. From the way my mom describes it, I practically walked home from the hospital and was eating solid food by the time I was a month old-probably raw steaks.
My mom saw my larger size and strong constitution as a sign from God that I was to be a kind of guardian angel for my older brother, Brian. It was not at all strange to see me reminding Brian to tie his shoes or asking the waiter for another glass of water for him. No one ever thought our reverse relationship was odd, since by the age of five I was a head taller than him anyway.
I could never leave the house without my mom telling me to drag Brian along. He was smaller and fit in better, size-wise, among my group of friends. But defending and protecting him became tiresome. And then there were those luscious desserts my mom would bring home to fatten up poor little Brian. I would watch him longingly while he delicately sipped at chocolate milkshakes and critically picked at the strawberry cheesecakes I would have gladly scarfed down if given half the chance. And when my hand, through no power of my own, would drift toward a tempting slice, my mom would reprimand me, saying, "That's for Brian; you don't need that."
And so, though I loved my older brother, I began to resent him as well.
One day our school sponsored a pumpkin-carving contest. First prize was one hundred dollars, and I knew just how I would spend it. There was a brand-new Sega game-Dungeons and Dragons-that I was dying to own. Realizing that my birthday and Christmas were nowhere in sight, I decided that the first-place stash definitely had to land in my pocket.
I ran out to the market and picked out the nicest pumpkin I could find. Then I set out to draw on the most gruesome face. In my third-grade mind, I had created a Pumpkin Freddy Krueger of sorts. Now all I had to do was carve the face. That's when it dawned on me: With my big clumsy mitts, I'd surely screw it up. I thought of Brian's smaller delicate hands and knew he was the man for the job.
I pleaded with Brian to carve the pumpkin, but wise fourth-grade businessman that he was, he asked for a cut.
"How does eighty-twenty grab you, Bri?"
"You mean eighty for you and only twenty for me? Forget it. It's either fifty-fifty or nothing."
Quickly doing the math in my head, I figured out that even if I split the first prize fifty-fifty, I'd still have enough cash for the game. I knew this pumpkin had to win the grand prize-it was just so awesome. So I gave in to Brian's demands.
With skillful hands, Brian carved the blood-slashed face, and then we sat back to admire our handiwork. Together, we had created the goriest Halloween pumpkin ever, which I was sure nobody could deny.
Then the unexpected happened: We came in second. Unfortunately, second prize was only fifty dollars, and I needed every penny of that to buy the game. The day of the awards ceremony, the principal handed over the money to me because Brian was home sick with some fragile kid's illness like a cold or something equally pathetic.
God, I thought to myself, if he really wanted to win, he would have been here today. And I need the whole check to pay for the game. I was able to justify stealing the cash from under poor Brian's runny nose. With hardly a thought, I ran over to my friend Glenn's house, and his mom drove us out to the mall to buy the game. I felt no guilt that night as Glenn and I pounded away on our controllers having the time of our lives.
That night when I got home, I found Brian lying on the couch watching TV.
"Did we win?" he asked.
I tried not to flinch as I stared down at his cheesecake-eating, milkshake-sipping face and answered, "No."
I hid the game over at Glenn's and never told anyone in my family about it. I thought it was pretty pathetic anyway that Brian never found out. What a dork.
As Brian got older, he began to loosen up a little and Mom did, too. He actually had a growth spurt, and though I'm still a head taller than him, he's wider from side to side now-guess those milkshakes finally caught up with him.
With Brian's hearty physique and persistent begging, Mom even gave in to allowing him to attend college away from home. I played my usual role in helping him pack, although I had mixed emotions about seeing him go. I'd miss having the geek around.
As I rifled through one of his desk drawers, a photo of our gruesome pumpkin dropped to the floor. We both laughed as we looked at the ridiculous face we'd thought was so frightening. Then Brian said, "And we actually thought that squash was going to make us rich. We didn't even win third prize."
A kind of guilt rose up in my throat, and I felt a confession of sorts was needed.
"Brian, uh . . . hate to admit this, but we kinda did win. In fact, we kinda won second place."
"Huh? Is that so?" he asked, scratching his head. Brian rustled through his desk drawer again and pulled out another photo of our pumpkin with a blue satin second-prize ribbon flanked across its blood-stained face.
"I took this the day after the contest, worm brains. Did you think I didn't know? I was the photographer for the school newsletter, Einstein."
"What? You actually knew and didn't say anything? Why?"
Brian looked down at his half-packed suitcase and then up at me. "Don't you think I knew how Mom always forced you to watch out for me, and don't you think it made me feel really small? I'm supposed to be the bigger brother, numb nuts."
Actually, I'd never thought about how Brian might feel; it just always felt like I was the one being put out. Everyone always seemed to care more about Brian. Everyone needed to protect poor, pathetic Brian-I was just the big, dumb bodyguard for hire.
"I wanted, just once, to do the same for you," Brain said, interrupting my thoughts. "Just once, I wanted to be the bigger man."
"It always looked to me like it would be way better being smaller," I confessed. "I wanted to be the one that everyone wants to take care of."
"You're such a jerk," Brian said, shaking his head. "Do you know how lousy it feels when everyone thinks you're so lame you can't even take care of yourself? It sucks!"
We sat silently on Brian's bed just staring at one another. As dense as we were, something finally sank in. How pathetic. We'd each lived our lives secretly wishing to be the other.
"I'm sorry, Bri," I mumbled.
"For what? About that pumpkin? Forget it."
And then another uncomfortable silence lay upon us. I wanted to tell Brian how much I loved him and how cool I thought he was. But, I felt really dumb saying it out loud. Then Brian kneeled over, scooped up his football and threw it at my head. I lunged for him and pounded him in the gut. This was the way we communicated our understanding.
C. S. Dweck
2002 C.S. Dweck
2002. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
Table of Contents
|Share with Us||xix|
|1.||Falling in Love|
|The Boy at Band Camp||2|
|Just One Look, That's All It Took||11|
|Friends for Life||15|
|Impossible Things Can Happen||18|
|You Are All of This to Me||22|
|Two of Me||27|
|What I Really Learned in World Geography||28|
|I Finally Did It||32|
|And There He Was||37|
|My Secret in Silence||38|
|The Sound of Silence||43|
|My Best Friend||53|
|Living Without You||63|
|One of Those Days||73|
|When We Risk It All||81|
|Tinfoil and a Hair Ribbon||84|
|Losing My Best Friend||93|
|My Friend Andrea||97|
|My Brilliant Friend||100|
|I Know Exactly What You Mean||102|
|Two Girls and a Friendship||112|
|For Such a Time as This||117|
|The Sisters I Never Had||121|
|Love Letter to the Card Corner||124|
|My Friend and I Are Different||132|
|Friendship Is Like a Flower||137|
|Choosing a Broken Heart||139|
|One Step Behind||142|
|Forever Beyond a Good-Bye||143|
|Why They Are Friends||146|
|Through the Eyes of a Teenager||150|
|Operation Save the World||152|
|Like a Brother to Me||157|
|I Will Be Missing You||160|
|One Final Lesson||171|
|The Bus Stop||176|
|5.||Family and Love|
|My Little Brother||180|
|My Sister, My Enemy, My Friend||183|
|Always There for Me||186|
|The Bigger Man||188|
|Of Fathers and Sons||197|
|Journeys with Dad||203|
|In Mom We Trust||206|
|A Simple Gift||215|
|6.||Acts of Kindness|
|The Stranger Within||218|
|One Single Rose||223|
|The Graduation Dance||227|
|May I Help You?||233|
|The Need for Speed||236|
|On Shame and Shadowboxing||240|
|The Rumor Was True||249|
|Waves of Good-Bye||255|
|When It All Changes||260|
|What's on the Inside||263|
|And Still I Search ...||266|
|The Single-for-Life Syndrome||269|
|Changes and the Game "High School"||280|
|More Chicken Soup?||285|
|Who Is Jack Canfield?||287|
|Who Is Mark Victor Hansen?||288|
|Who Is Kimberly Kirberger?||289|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I LOVE THIS BOOK!! alot it has alot of things dat i could realate 2 espacially about friendships! so wen u dont have anyone 2 depend on u should really take a peek at diz book!
When I began to read this book I really couldn't but it done. I could relate to this book. It was good to know that other people are going throght the same things as me.
Although the sample is only 53 pages,(and about 37 of them is just the intro) youll fall strong and hard for it! Iys a beautiful book with amazing stories.
i always hated read books i could never stay awake then i read chicken soup for the tenage soul on love and friendship i could never wait till i got home so i could pick up this book and read it i would stay up real late reading i was shoked to here those words come out of my mouth!
Another very well written chicken soup book. However I, personally, appreciate the regular books better. This book was to focused upon one subject, that it didnt pull you into the book as normal chicken soups do. It was very good, but it was to subject based.
Im only in fith grade, but i love readding the teenage-ish books. Espeshially the chicken soup ones. I learned a few things and some had like.... no meaning at all, but it is still extreemly good
So i think that in terms of content this books really nothin special. Usd to be obsessed with these books but they got to be boring and repetitive and theres really no appeal to reading em anymore.
Chicen soup for the soul changed my life in so many ways I read my first one in fifthh grade i loved it i am going to read them through out my life Love secrect admire
This book is a book with stories of people who have been through everything you could have sworn you were alone in! Overall its a very comforting book. It helps readers unite with so many others and i love it!!!:)
This is an awsome book u sould also tru their book on tough stouph