“The only way to have a great friend is to be one,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. What is friendship? This a million-dollar question that has been asked over and over again for eons and the answer differs from one person to another. However, the basics of friendship remain solid beyond race, tribe, generation or class. It is a defining part of life, affecting our normal being and happiness. A mutual affection shared by two persons with each wanting the best for the other. It is the story of sometimes having to wait up late as you give your friend a shoulder to cry on or just sit sharing whatever.
This is a key element of friendship. It is good to always remember that it takes years to build on trust but a second to crash it. And if a crack ever happens, even like it happens on a glass, it is irreparable. It is trust that is the backbone of friendships. After all, two or more strangers come together, commit to each other and put their differences aside for a better good. If for whatever reason I fail to trust you, or you give me a reason for doubt, for me, that begins the end of the journey. It is difficult to change the sour milk to butter.
Sacrifice and Risk
Henry Ford once said, “my best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” I can never agree more. It is my belief that a friend should not come to your life wanting to change you but rather let us remain as we are. They should celebrate our successes and mourn the failures. Be supportive of our thoughts and plans regardless. Giving us a shoulder to cry on when necessary and a pat on our backs for a great job well done. It is a sacrifice and a risk all on one platter. They help and guide us in the right direction even as Oscar Wilde said, “true friends stab you in the front.” A spade will be called a spade still while allowing us to laugh at our own mistakes.
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity said, Khalil Gibran. It takes total commitment to making a great friendship. This entails deliberate passions and commitment in the right direction. It is whereby as a friend, you protect this person despite their being present. There are no two ways about it is an apple for an apple. If your friend turns up for you, do better even than they. Do not get comfortable being on the receiving end only. It is selfish and unfair and with time, this person too may get tired. It is a must to commit, not an option.
If for whatever reason a friend hides something from you and you get to know, always question their agenda. A true friend will serve you water because that is all they can afford but not sugarcoat with borrowed niceties just to look great. They let themselves be real with you, to the extent of sharing your bed on the floor if that is all there is and they remain comfortable. According to Jim Morrison, a friend is one who gives you total freedom to be yourself. Whatever is bad is called bad without making you feel guilty or ashamed.
Is your friend the comparing type?
Run my friend if your answer is yes. And while at it, do not look back. You know those persons who because you have or don’t have a car, a house, a boyfriend they compare you to someone else; listen to me. That is not a friend. There is only you in this life, so anyone who thinks you should live otherwise is a No! No! No! in your list of friends. Never allow for anyone to mold you into something else. Learn to stand your ground and just do you. Smile, laugh, cry, sleep, snooze, then pull yourself together and start again. You owe no one an apology.
The art of friendship is great, but only if you connect with the right persons. Anyone else will be draining you and killing the champion inside of you. Learn to take care of yourself. Take some time off and weigh things out. It is all right and you should never apologize for it. There has to be a great you first before you can share yourself with anyone else. Shield your heart and your mind from the world. It is only a blossoming flower that produces great pollen that pollinates another. Infected flowers proceed to spread the disease and the whole garden dies out.
The great King Solomon once said as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Another part of the great script also states, show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. My friends. Take time to choose your friends. And choose them wisely. If like me you are the lot that trusts easily, learn to shield yourself from toxic friendships. Take great care of yourself first, then go care for the world.