National Friendship Day
August 15, 2012
"A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are."~ Unknown
National Friendship Day was August 7th. So how did you celebrate? When I think of what a genuine friendship entails, I would have to put acceptance at the top, then honesty along with trust and loyalty. I don’t think one can call another a real friend until their relationship has been challenged. A friendship that can’t take a challenge is what my grandfather would call a "fair-weather friend." People clash very easily, that’s why it's hard for some people to maintain friendships. It's possible that friendship can exist between two people at one stage of their lives, then as life changes with personal growth and life circumstances, the same friendship might become almost impossible at another stage.
If a person can commit to the work and demand of putting someone other than themselves first, a friendship can provide a great amount of support and comfort in good times and in confusing times. Because friendship is something you choose to do, I could never do it out of a sense of obligation. I have witnessed so many times "so called" friendships that are one-sided. How could that ever be friendship? Come on; be open, honest, and real. We must be true to ourselves, and we must know real friendships do not require perfection and cannot be formed on pretending to be someone you are not. Friendship is an act. Not one of coercion, it’s at times a balanced relationship between people, at other times, it might require one side to be more sympathetic and compassionate.
Oscar Wilde had it right when he said, "True friends stab you in the front." A real friend will try to tell you if you are in danger of embarrassment by your actions, or if you have food between your teeth. Of course, differences amongst friends must be appreciated. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Friends influence our lives in so many ways. Sometimes friendships must be examined. My uncle always quoted Miguel de Cervantes when he wanted us to question our friendships, "Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art." My mom would quote Bill Cosby, "Then show me your friends and I’ll show you your future." I think they were right in realizing that people will judge you by who you call your friends, and your friends will eventually rub off on you. I am very careful not to call just anyone "friend.” I love the thought of choosing trust, hope, empathy, admiration, and mutual respect with a person who chooses to return the favor.
Blue Springs North Branch