Saturday, March 16, 2013

That's What A Friend Is...Part 1

I looked up the word "friend" on and came up with these top 3 definitions.

 1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
Interesting isn't it? I would never, ever have offered any of those choices of words to describe my friends. They seem inadequate at best. To me, a friend is so much more.
I think it may even possible to have friends who serve different functions in our lives. There are those we can rely on in times of crisis, who put our perceived catastrophes into perspective;  those whose experiences, philosophies and tastes we can discuss, share or disagree about;  those who are honest with us no matter what and "lay the cards on the table" as the saying goes;  those who forgive our mistakes and stand by us; those we trust - the confidantesthose who empathize, feel our pain;  those who celebrate our accomplishments without envy and without having to "one up" us;  those who remain steadfast throughout some or all of our livesthose with whom we laugh and those with whom we cry. If we are very fortunate, we have might have a friend who encompasses all those qualities. For many of us, it's our spouse. For some of us, we may be lucky enough to have another friend who's that much of a "good buddy" as it were.
There are temporary friends which we outgrow for some reason or another. There are friends who move far away with whom we lose touch. In that case, the friendship was likely not important enough for either party to maintain. Sometimes, friendships are toxic and we move on.
I had an instructor once who asked, "Do we really have a lot of close friends, or are they just acquaintances?"
That was a thought provoking question. I gave it some consideration and assessed my situation. How many people did I feel were true friends? The list became quite small. Fingers on one hand small....quality won out over quantity.

There's a children's book by P.K. Hallinan which I always enjoyed.

Very simply, it says it all, "A friend, is a friend. That's what a friend is."

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