Break the Chain The Story of Kyle

Created 7/19/2001 (2/2/2003) Ahh, friendship. It's a wonderful thing. Makes you just want to forward every piece of crap you get in your inbox to all your buddies, just to show you care, doesn't it?


This is one that's worth reading. Smile at someone today, and tomorrow and the next day, and the next......

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon),so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable. "I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

You now have two choices, you can: 1) Pass this on to your friends or, 2) Delete it and act like it didn't touch your heart.

As you can see, I took choice number

1. "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

It's National Friendship Week. Show your friends how much you care.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.

If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Friends, you and me....You brought another friend....And then there were... 3. We started our group....
Our circle of friends....And like that circle....There is no beginning or end...

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

It's National Friendship Week. Show your friends how much you care.

Send this to everyone you consider a friend. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.


The story of Kyle and his friend was originally published (as fiction) in the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul in 1993 and was written by John W. Schlatter. The Internet version differs from the original, however. The characters' names have been changed and it has been re-written as a first-person account. The latter change makes the story seem more personal and likely to be true. But it's not. It's a parable - a fictional tale designed to teach a lesson - the moral of which is "A little kindness can change someone else's life, often without your knowledge." - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.
As for the part at the end about "National Friendship Week:" If we're to believe every e-mail we get, we could conclude that it's national friendship week 52 weeks a year! This part originated as a separate letter but has been combined with this story, probably because the subject of the story seems to fit. The Friendship week claim is never dated and never backed up. Searches on the internet found many different references to "National Friendship Week," all at different times of the year.

Anyway, doesn't it reflect poorly on a person if it takes a specially designated week for him to appreciate his friends? What's wrong with writing a personal note every once in a while, just because you want to? Certainly, that's more meaningful than some impersonal e-mail forward that instructs you to show your friends how much you care.

In a recent poll of Break the Chain visitors, friendship chains were ranked as the most annoying type of e-mail chain letter. Most people would prefer one personally written note from a friend every few weeks over a mass-forwarded piece of super sweet garbage every day. Break this "Circle of Friends," and I'm sure you'll find your friends will be a bit more friendly to you. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: General Junk

HOME | Privacy & Copyright