Value Friendships

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. Saint Thomas Aquinas

Friendship is one of those gifts that all are blessed with but few cherish it for its true worth. Most times we take our friends for granted and often even mistake good relationships for close friendship. True friends are our guardian angels who are always there by your side irrespective of what you do or however inconsiderate you are. They provide companionship in a silent way, act as our conscience keeper and are pillars of strength when we need their support no matter what the situation. In real life we make have many many colleagues/ classmates/ neighbors and acquaintances with who we share a good rapport and a great chemistry. However we cannot cross our hearts and say they are our best friends simply because you might not be ready to trust your life with them.

Often good friendships are developed in our growing years from childhood to our teens and occasionally during our college days and working years. Age is really not a major issue when forging friendships but more often than not, most friends are of near similar ages and backgrounds. There are no rules for friendships but there is just one test; the test of being there for the friend at all times, particularly the most difficult and testing times. The buddy system which is widely prevalent in jobs that have high risk of life and limb like policing, the armed forces, the fire fighters, detectives etc. are a shining example of how friendships are formed. Each one trusts the other with his/ her life and that is the secret to how real friends can actually feel and read each other’s heart and mind.

Friendships are often put to the test. More often than not we pass it and that is why the friendship endures. There are times though that a real friend has to sacrifice, albeit temporarily the friendship so that the other person may value the friendship more. If this sounds ironic take the case of a friend who has a serious drinking problem.  Despite many an entreat to go to rehab, if the advice is not heeded, a real friend might resort to shock therapy in the form of cutting of ties so that better sense prevails. Apologies if required must be quickly given in case of misunderstandings and mistrust even in the remotest form must be avoided at all costs. Many a friendship has withered because of mistrust and or ego where one of the parties refuses to acknowledge or apologize when in the wrong.

The old proverb ‘ a friends in need is a friend indeed’ holds true even today. There are times though when we are confused about standing by our friends when they have done some terrible wrong. Those are the times when it is imperative that we listen to what Mark Twain says about friendship and I quote “ A friend  is one who stands by you when you are in the wrong; almost anyone else will stand by you when you are on the right”.

Remember: “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”

Try these:

  1. Make a list of 5-8 good friends and write the one quality that you value in each one of them. E.g. In one friend you might admire his candid and frank outbursts when he disapproves of something for he doens not hide or hold back anything. In another friend you may admire her ability to empathize with you even when you are completely in the wrong.
  2. Plan to surprise your friend with a secretly planned birthday bash. Ensure that the event is a surprise and it must be tastefully done must reflect the warmth of your affection for him/ her.

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