The Three Fs

From the PublisherI don’t watch much television, but one program I catch every once in a while is Man Versus Wild, with Bear Grylls. There is something fascinating about a guy who confidently dives head first into a frigid, ice-covered pond to capture a wiggling trout with his bare hands; who then, without skipping a beat, proceeds to devour the creature—fins, bones, eyes and all.

Grylls is always animated yet matter-of-factly confident as he demonstrates these extreme survival techniques. This is true of every episode I’ve seen—except one. I don’t recall the exact circumstances, but in this particular episode, night was falling as Grylls’ normally steady composure seemed to flag a bit. He was obviously tired, and while there was a film crew nearby, he was apparently feeling lonely. He then said something that, while out of character for Grylls, seemed very real and heartfelt. To paraphrase, he said, “when things seem bleak; when I start to feel down or alone, I always remember the three Fs — friends, family and faith.”

Attitude is everything, and Grylls’ statement resonated as probably the most useful and powerful survival technique he had ever shared. Keeping the “three Fs” in mind can go a very long way indeed, on every level—physically, emotionally and spiritually. In my day-to-day routine, I try to make a point of thinking about the three Fs, whenever I can, but confess that sometimes, I forget.

One of the most amazing things about the three Fs is that if you do happen to forget, they will be there for you anyway, ready to reach out and lift you up when you need it most. Take the “friends” part of the three Fs, for example. I recently discovered that I have one I have yet to meet in person, as a result of writing this column every month. Her name is Dorothy, a local Alive reader.

In a letter I received from her recently, Dorothy expressed her appreciation for Alive Magazine and for the positive message we try to convey. She composed a beautiful, eloquent letter, complimenting all of our editorial contributors. In short, Dorothy took the time to open a door of friendship to me that, due to the circumstances of the day, could not have arrived at a more appropriate time. I wasn’t expecting it, but one of the three Fs reached out and lifted me, just when I needed it.

What else can I say but, “Thank you Dorothy. Thank you for being the kind and caring person that you are. I appreciate your gesture and words, and hope you will grant me the honor of adding you to my three Fs list, as you may certainly count on me to be on yours!”
Eric Johnson