This is the story of three friends, Fred, Peter, and Maxwell. They were childhood friends who did everything together growing up. They attended the same primary and secondary school but went to different universities while still keeping in touch until they graduated.
Fred studied petrochemical engineering and went on to work in an oil company, quickly amassing wealth. Maxwell worked as a banker and steadily climbed up the executive ladder, while Peter after years of striving couldn’t secure a job.
Like the proverbial birds of a feather flocking together, Peter soon found that his two friends were avoiding him, claiming to be busy and lacking time to meet up. But Peter would always see them posting pictures of themselves having fun in clubs, restaurants, and high-end places. He strove hard to rekindle their friendship until one day, Maxwell lambasted him and told him the truth; they had been avoiding him because he wasn’t in their league anymore, and they didn’t want him to drag them backward.
Peter left with tears and deep sorrow shocked that his friends could betray him because of his circumstances. “Today it is your turn, you have all the wealth and influence and so you do not want me in your circle because I am neither rich nor connected. But I’ll have you know that a circle is round, and life is in turns,” Peter said to them before he left.
Peter got home, broken and sad.
“Were they lying? They only spoke the truth,” his younger brother retorted when Peter told him what transpired. “They believe you’ll keep drawing them back, asking for money, assistance, and whatnots, and what they need now is even higher connections to transport them to greater heights. The best you can do for yourself is to make meaning of your life and stop looking up to others.”
The words struck Peter hard. He sat for a while, deep in thought, and then he stood up. He knew what he must do. As against waiting for a job, Peter took several professional courses, volunteering for different outfits and gaining a wide range of experiences along the way. He volunteered for the United Nations and was lucky to be liked by one of the directors who took him as her personal assistant. They toured the world together.
Slowly and steadily, Peter worked up the ladder and became the programs management officer of the United Nations, causing him to relate directly with presidents, prime ministers, and people of great renown.
One day, going through his phone, Peter saw messages from his old friends Maxwell and Fred, hoping to get in touch with him. They were also still doing well in their various careers but were looking to step up. Peter smiled and looked around him; he was busy with work, family, and new friends, so he had little or no time to spare. He turned and related all that has transpired to his wife who smiled and shook her head.
Peter picked up his phone and replied to Fred and Maxwell; “I currently have my hands full at the moment, especially with my new job and relationships. I doubt if we are still on the same level, a level where I have no use for you. My regards to your family and loved ones.”
Peter dropped his phone and turned to his wife. “What goes around comes around. Changing circles and pushing away friends who love and care about you because they have not gotten to your level is interesting when one is at the top of the pyramid. But many are quick to forget that just as you strived and pushed your way to the top, overtaking some people along the way, others can also do the same and overtake you.
Making friendship mainly transactional and running after better circles is the fall of many who could have been a bone of support and helped their friends unearth their greatness. The circle, really, is round,” Peter concluded.