The recent foiled terror attempt on a train in France has had me thinking about the power of real friendships. These longtime friends, traveling together through Europe sprung into action (with no more than a single word, “Go!” passing between them) to save lives.
Growing up you may have heard your parents tell you to choose your friends wisely. As a kid, I took this to mean, ‘Don’t pal around with people who are going to get you into trouble.’ Often young people will give their friends the power to guide their choices. But as an adult, I see this idea of friendship and influence as being a much more powerful vehicle for encouragement, accountability, and inspiration.
Seeing the news about the three Americans who intervened and took down a terrorist on a train in France (Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler) reminded me of a book. Among Heroes: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s True Story of Friendship, Heroism and Ultimate Sacrifice is a moving account of the depth of friendships formed in combat and pays tribute to some incredible men who never made it back home. This compilation of stories written by Brandon Webb and John David Mann had me both laughing and crying.
Reading this book honors these fallen soldiers—that alone is a good reason to pick it up—but there is much more to learn within these pages. As the authors say, “Within these stories of friendship and character, you’ll find the principles that guided these men in their lives, principles I have adopted in my own life and share with my children. Knowing these great men, who they were, how they lived, and what they stood for—has changed my life.”
The friendships in this book are forged by extreme circumstances that we will likely never experience. But that doesn’t mean the lessons contained within these pages can’t be applied to your life and benefit those you train with. Among Heroes should inspire you to examine the friendships in your life and encourage you to cultivate relationships with people who elevate your character.
My suggestion? Read this book.