Sunday, March 3, 2024

Vine Media

葡萄樹傳媒

友誼的價值

我在作生意初期就發現,生意像生活中其他事務一樣,都牽涉到人際關係。1973年當我開始踏入攝影事業,一位年長的紳士艾爾金.史密斯非常照顧我,把我介紹給我需要認識的人。

從那天開始,我作生意的對象很少不是我的朋友。我認為友誼或者可能發展為友誼的關係應該是第一優先。這關係到你認識誰,以及誰認識你。我參加了陸路公園商會、葉林商會和其他的組織,主要是去認識新的人,並了解我要和誰作生意,與誰作朋友。

有人說最好的朋友是那些能引發你達到最佳表現的人,能鼓勵你的人,你可以學習的人,以及盡力做到最好且期待周圍的人也能如此的人。這些都是我評估並建立友誼的標準。

我學到成為一個人們喜歡與你在一起的人比擁有特殊技能還重要。例如,在音樂界得到最佳職位的音樂家不一定是歌唱得最好或樂器演奏得最好的人,而是人們喜歡與他在一起的人。在不同程度上,其他行業也是如此。

這也是我每週把自己的消息用電子郵件寄發出去的部份原因。我認為,毫無疑問,這是一個好的行銷策略。但更重要的是,我收到的回信可幫助我決定要跟誰作生意。若某人對我做的事不感興趣,我也不太可能有興趣與他作生意。這對我而言是再直接不過了。

若你想要有朋友,就去作別人的朋友。若你要別人對你感興趣,你就要先對他們感興趣。聖經認為友誼很重要,因為聖經有許多經文談到友誼。以下就是聖經智慧的一些例子;

作別人的朋友才能建立友誼。真正的友誼是互惠的關係,不論在商業界或個人生活中。我們必需願意付出,而不是只有索取。「濫交朋友的,自取敗壞」(箴言18章24節)。

我們與朋友的關係可能比家人更親密。我們與家人(父母、兄弟、姊妹、表兄弟姐妹、祖父母)的關係是重要的,但有時因為居住的遠近,在一起的時間、共同的興趣和共同經歷的困難,使得我們與朋友的關係更緊密。「但有一朋友比弟兄更親密」(箴言18章24節)。

友誼必須經得起環境的考驗。當你在順境時,任何人都可以成為你的朋友。但當你在困境中,真正的朋友才會留在你身邊。「朋友乃時常親愛,弟兄為患難而生」(箴言17章17節)。

朋友常常需要犧牲。真正的朋友願意付出,即使那對他很不方便--或甚至會帶來損失。我們可以在耶穌基督身上看到最好的榜樣。祂說:「人為朋友捨命,人的愛心沒有比這個大的」(約翰福音15章13節)。

思想 / 討論題目
誰是你最好的朋友?為何那人是你最好的朋友? 你看重朋友的哪些特質?這與商場上的友誼有何異同之處? 你是否同意聖經中所描述的友誼?為什麼? 你是否曾為朋友犧牲,或朋友曾為你犧牲?請描述那情況,以及你的感受。註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言14章20節,16章28節,27章5-6、10節;約翰福音15章14-15節;雅各書2章23節,4章4節


THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS

By: Jim Mathis

I discovered very early in my business career that, like almost everything else in life, business really is all about relationships. When I got my start in the photography business in 1973, an older gentleman named Elgin Smith took me under his wing and introduced me to people I needed to know.

Since that day I have seldom done business with anyone other than friends. I believe that friendship, or the potential for friendship, should be the first priority. It is all about whom you know and who knows you. I have joined the Overland Park and Leawood chambers of commerce and other organizations, primarily to meet new people and figure out who I want to do business with and count as my friends.

It has been said a person”s best friends are those that bring out the best in you. Looking for people who can encourage me, whom I can learn from, and who also want the best for themselves and those around them seem like solid criteria for evaluating and establishing new relationships.

I have learned that being a person that people want to spend time with is far more important than having a specific set of skills. In music, for example, the musicians that get the best jobs are not necessarily the ones with the best vocal or instrumental capabilities, but rather, the ones that other people want to be with and enjoy being around. The same is true, in varying degrees, for other professions as well.

This is part of the motivation behind the newsletter I send out weekly via e-mail. Without a doubt, I think it is a significant part of a good marketing strategy, but more importantly, the responses I receive help me to determine who I might want to do business with. If somebody isn”t interested in what I am doing, I most likely will not be interested in doing business with them either. That seems pretty straight forward to me.

If you want friends, be a friend. If you want people to be interested in you, be interested in them. This is a topic the Bible considers important, since it has much to say about it. Here is a sampling of its wisdom:

Friendship requires being a friend. True friendship is a mutually beneficial relationship, whether in business or in one personal life. We need to be willing to give as much of ourselves as we take from others. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24).

Friendship can be closer than family relationships. Our relationships with family members – parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and grandparents – are important, but sometimes because of proximity, time spent together, mutual interests and shared struggles, the bond of friendship can be even stronger. The rest of that verse states, “…but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

Friendship is consistent. Anyone can act like a friend when times are enjoyable and things are going well. But a true friend remains even during times that are difficult and not fun. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

Friendship is often sacrificial. A true friend gives of himself or herself, even when it is not convenient – and even if it is costly. The ultimate example of this we see in Jesus Christ, who said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Who is your best friend? Why is that person your best friend? What are some of the qualities you look for in a friend? How does this discussion of friendship compare to how you have typically viewed “friendships” in business? Do you agree with the descriptions of friendship drawn from the Bible? Why or why not? Can you think of a time when friendship in your life required true sacrifice, whether on your part or that of a friend? Describe the situation – and how you felt about it.If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages:

Proverbs 14:20, 16:28, 27:5-6, 10; John 15:14-15; James 2:23, 4:4

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