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Convenient friendships…

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Isn’t it strange that a person can be surrounded by dozens of “friends” and still find him/herself “alone”…within? Lots of us easily lay claim to friendships but very few of us prove them when “push comes to shove.”

The very help our friends can comfortably render (to us) but won’t, are actually what total strangers do without batting an eyelid.

I mean, help comes from unexpected quarters and for this, I refuse to dwell on the principle of “everyone for himself and God for us all.”

Being there for a friend should not be a matter of convenience and what you stand to gain in return. Why must you “gain” something before you wipe a tear off a face, extend a hand to a lowly soul and listen to a cry for help?

I have been assisted and had doors opened to me by complete strangers who asked for nothing in return, things those I hoped in could not step out of their comfort zones to do.

Some so-called friends even become hostile and judgemental once they sense you are down and may need their assistance, but as soon as your problems are out of the way, they crawl out of their shells and even become friendlier.

No one is being fooled here, much as one never ceases to remain a friend (to them), I begin to actually see such friends differently afterwards…just chose not to be that way.

I won’t be able to live in my skin if I ever turn a friend down, especially when I know I CAN be there. What’s life after all, if we can’t help bring another safely to his feet?

I run into people whose friendships have spanned over decades and I ask: how did they do it?

The problem is that we do not have values any more, no conscience, so materialistic and short-sighted that we’ll rather feed our indulgences than use the same resources to help someone in need. We have become so parasitic in nature that before we even listen to our conscience, we will first find out what we stand to gain; even at the expense of another. That is why some people will rather see another’s vulnerability as an opportunity rather than a time to “be there.”

I have never ceased to tell people that if anyone desires true friendship, he/she should first be a friend. That which you despise in others, do it to none.

There is more to life and friendship than we can ever imagine. The “seeming” pleasurable things that jeopardise good friendships are momentary but the benefits of true friendship far outweigh and last longer than those. Those things will cease to be pleasurable when the chips are down, anyway.

I have a young friend who engaged me in ‘deep talks’ once in a while, she told me that since men have made it all about her body (with little or no effort to know the real her,) she has also chosen to make it all about their money.

I wouldn’t know what informed this decision of hers but I do know there comes a time when each and every one of us desires nothing more than genuine friendships, feelings that neither money nor materialism can buy, that is why people still sense a lack, a void, an emptiness in the midst of plenty.

I was home some months back and paid a visit to an elderly family friend who lost her husband to a terminal illness. I enquired how she coped with the tasks of caring for the sick. Her answer took me aback. She told me she wasn’t doing it alone, that my dad (yes -my own aged father!) was always helping out with the bathing, change of clothing, keeping the sick company et al.

She explained that Papa visited daily to keep the ailing person company…until the very end.

I was moved to tears (tears of joy actually!) by such dedication to a friend, even to the end.

Only God knows how much that meant to the dead man. Now tell me, couldn’t the dead man have given up any amount of money or material possession for such loyalty and love from a friend?

How many of us have friends that once they learn we have AIDS,CANCER or some terminal ailments, will still stand by us, fighting the battle of our lives with us via their love, time, resources and whatever form of support they can give?

How far can you also go for a friend? Are you one of those that will rather keep your distance than be there?

I just want us to think less of now when being a friend, life is truly not about NOW, there will always be a time when your attitude “all along” will be all that matters!


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