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Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The others aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances.

I have one friend who is the wisest person I know. In fact she may be the wisest person I ever met. In my darkest ever hour I called her on instinct. "For the first time in my life I have seriously, calmly and logically thought through suicide as a realistic solution to my current situation."

She did not hesitate. "Then get out of that situation. You can always kill yourself later if that doesn’t work out".

More recently I was chatting with her about an arduous situation I had found myself in. I wanted to go to a cricket match which meant a lot to me. England v West Indies. With a West Indian mother, an Irish father but brought up in London I found the whole issue of where my loyalties lay both intriguing and stimulating. I called Jerry, someone I thought of as a good friend and asked him to help me out.

"Fine, well I've got stuff to do but I'll meet you inside Lords Cricket ground half an hour before play starts". He lived ten minutes from me.

Entirely dismayed at the prospect of finding him among 28,000 cricket fans pushing and shoving their way to their seats I called Jay, another friend.

"Sure, happy to help - what would be the simplest and most convenient for you Robin? I can come and get you from home if you like". This involved a one and a half hour detour for him.

I talked this over with my wisest friend. "Why don’t you just spend more time with people like Jay and less time with people like Jerry?"

Good advice.

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