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True Friends

True friends are rare commodities these days. Some people purposely avoid having friends either because they are insecure or too independent. Some are selfish and they just think about their own little world. There are those who, for fear of being rejected, prefer to stay in their cocoon. Others can’t accept being hurt. A little misunderstanding sometimes causes a person to withdraw into oblivion. The quote that says you only hurt the one you love is anathema to them.

Friendship is often based, or should I say, starts with common connections. Then it develops into what I can do for the other person. I call it a blessing if the doing-to-the-other-person-stuff is mutual and lasts forever. But sometimes it doesn’t. There are the fair-weather friends who flee at the sight of any problems or difficulties. When you need them the most, they are nowhere to be found.

Some are lucky to have friends – childhood friends, high school friends, and professional friends – who have stayed with them through thick and thin. They have become their drinking buddies, wedding sponsors, email and text pals, confidants and supporters in one’s advocacies. They are true and tested friends who are always there for you in the best of times and in the worst of times.

Some people become friends because they like each other’s company sans the intimacy that’s found among lovers. Others become chums because of common experiences and interests.

Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers, once said, ‘With out friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.”

Back in his time, Aristotle had already thought about the power of friendship. Thus, friendship cannot be taken for granted. It serves like a well that one can draw support from. It can also serve like a spring that provides life, without which human relationship is devoid of meaning. Life without a friend is death without a witness is how a Spanish proverb puts it.

Nothing can shake a genuine friendship. No human storm so destructive can destroy a relationship that is solidly based on what is in the best interest of the other person.

But just like any other form of human relationship, friendship is replete with challenges and obstacles. Misunderstanding, caused by lack of communication, may cool off a long-standing relationship. Lack of trust may lead to unhealthy assumptions that can break decades of oneness. Suspicion can lead to doubt that can trigger a major spat common among friends. Oversensitivity can cloud whatever good intention is left of a friend trying to mend a broken relationship.

All this shows that there is no wand that can magically create a lasting friendship. Instead, you have individuals struggling to preserve what for them is a source of support and fulfillment. After all, as Thomas Aquinas theorized, friendship is the source of greatest pleasures and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.

People define friendship the way they experience it and rightfully so. For me, true friendship is one where both sides are ready to offer a helping hand unconditionally, without expecting anything in return, except to make the other person laugh and feel good about himself or herself. Wishing that you find a true friend.