Robbie: Man... How depressing can you get. I haven't been this sad since my parakeet escaped and flew out the window. (Sighs and shakes head.)
Gramps: (Gramps hobbles in and puts his arm around Robbie) Hey, why the long face there young fella?
Robbie: Oh, hi Grandpa. (Sighs again.)
Gramps: What's eatin' ya?
Robbie: Yikes! Eating me? Is there a bug on me or something?
Gramps: No, no. That's just an expression. I mean what's wrong? You look like you just lost your best friend.
Robbie: Oh. Well, that's pretty much what happened. You see since my best friend Duke moved away and is living in another state I have been trying to make some new friends.
Robbie: Well since school started a couple days ago, my dad recommended that I try out for sports because that was a good way to make friends with the guys.
Gramps: Ah, yes. Your dad used to play football in school. I used to go to all his games.
Robbie: Yeah, well you won't be going to any of my games. I didn't exactly make the team. I was trying to tackle the practice tackle dummy and ended up tackling myself. Then I was running with the ball and tripped over my shoe laces which caused me to do a somersault into Freddie the Frog, our school mascot and Freddie fell into the giant pitcher of lemonade and it dumped all over Mr. Skinner the principal who was watching us practice. The coach told me to go home before I wrecked anything else. So I did.
Gramps: Heh heh. Well, Rob. Sounds like you had an off day. It happens to all of us sometimes. There's always next year for football.
Robbie: But don't you see, Grandpa?
Gramps: Not as good as I used to but that's why I have my reading glasses...
Robbie: No, I mean don't you see what this means? I wasn't good enough for the team which means I won't be on the team and I won't meet any new friends so I'll be left out of everything this school year. I'm doomed to spend every day at lunch sitting all by myself.
Gramps: Oh, now Robbie. Don't you worry about this. You don't need football to have friends.
Robbie: I don't?
Gramps: Nope. All you need to do, is care about other people. Have you ever heard the old saying, to make a friend, you first have to be a friend?
Robbie: Yeah. I think I have heard that before. But what does it mean? How do I be a friend?
Gramps: Well, you tried to be a friend by following your dad's advice. He said you should play sports. You tried out and didn't make it but if you did make some friends on the team do you think it would have been just because you were a good football player?
Robbie: I don't know. I guess I hadn't thought too much about it. Probably not, huh?
Gramps: Well maybe, Robbie my boy, but if someone became your friend just because you were good at football, what happens to your friendship if you get hurt and have to sit out a season. Or what if you decide you don't want to play football anymore and you'd rather try golf? Do you think they would stay friends with you?
Robbie: Hmmm... probably not.
Gramps: So they probably wouldn't be the best kind of friend to have in the first place. No, I think if you want good friends (and I mean the kind that stick with you no matter what) you have to show them you care about them. After all, why was Duke such a good friend?
Robbie: Well, we went through a lot together. I told him about Jesus, we went to church together, we liked the same books and playstation games.
Gramps: But what did you like about him? What about him personally?
Robbie: Well, Duke was really nice. I mean if he had the latest Cosmic Caterpillar comic book and was done reading it, he would loan it to me. If he had two pieces of leftover pizza for his lunch, he would always trade one with me for my granola bar. And best of all, Duke never told anyone my secrets. When I told him something that was secret, he never told anyone else. Of course, I did that for him too.
Gramps: So you two helped each other?
Robbie: Yeah. We did. We thought of each other first, you know. Before thinking of ourselves.
Gramps: So you followed the Golden Rule?
Robbie: Um... I'm not sure. What's the Golden Rule?
Gramps: It is the rule that Jesus made. He said "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." That means you should treat others the way you want to be treated.
Robbie: Oh. Wow!
Gramps: Yep. Those are words to live by. If you think about everything you do and say "Does this follow the Golden Rule?" You will find that more and more people want to be your friend. People like it when you care about them.
Robbie: Thanks, Grandpa! (Gets up and leaves.)
Gramps: Where you goin' Robbie?
Robbie: To go look for someone to be nice to. If I hurry, I might be able to make a few friends before time for dinner!
Gramps: Heh, heh, heh. Kids!