The other night, I posted the following after seeing the above commercial for the seemingly 1 millionth time:
You know, if that was truly a good dog, he would stop his master from going out and engaging in sins of the flesh rather than staring out the window. #friendsarewaiting
It seemed both logical and hilarious to me. Shouldn’t your friend, let alone your best friend. stop you from doing that which might cause you harm?
And yet, there is a certain level of truth to this ad, for this is how many do in fact act, both friends and parents. There is no effort to stop one from doing destructive behavior, just a nervous prayer that no one gets seriously hurt and that no property is damaged.
And yet, are you a better friend when you pray for someone, or are you a better friend when you stop that person from doing that which is destructive to them and others?
Of course, this reflects a change in the advertisement as well. For years, the advertisement said: Friends don’t let friends drink and drive. Today, the advertisement is Friends are waiting.
No longer am I responsible for your destructive actions, rather you are intended to feel that your actions are stressing me out.
Which is more likely to work?
In the heat of the moment, you are unlikely to make a very good decision, especially when surrounded by drugs, alcohol and sex. I may not always either in getting you out of such situations, but I trust me more so than I trust any guilt you may feel.
What would I like to see in the commercial? Perhaps the dog could grab the sleeve of his master and prevent him from going out and getting drunk. That may put more reasoning and capability in the dog than he was created with. The dog is excused. But what about you? When your child or grandchild is about to go out; when your friend is engaging in reckless behavior, which friend are you going to be? The one who nervously says a prayer that this ends well, or the one who jumps up and says let’s consider the consequences of our actions here.
Hopefully, my friends are not waiting for a call announcing my funeral arrangements, but are instead willing to act in such situations. And hopefully, I have the wisdom to do the same for them.