Friendship is like a commitment, to accept a person into your life regardless of their faults and shortcomings. The thing about friendship is that, unlike the vows and constricts of marriage, friendship is not meant to hold you down and you can choose to leave as easily as you started, no benedictions necessary. Friendship is one of the glue that hold the world together and finding a true friend can be one of the hardest and also one of the easiest things ever. It all depends on how open minded or how close minded you are. Like Ralph Waldo said, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
When we were younger it was easier to make friends because we didn’t have a care in the world. We were still experimenting; we were not yet sure of who we are, we were still trying to find ourselves, so we could not decide what kind of friends we wanted to have. You grow up practically wanting everyone to be your friend, because we don’t know any better. So we get entangled with everybody, the good, the bad and the ugly, and with every friendship and bond we form with people, we experience new things and find out things we didn’t know about ourselves. We get hurt, we learn when to let go, we learn which friends are good for us and the ones that are bad. We make friends that form us and help us grow. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
So as we get older and know ourselves better, making friends becomes harder, we become selective of who we want to make a part of our lives. It is no longer as easy as it was when we were young. We also realize that some of the friendships we have formed fell apart or grow stale. This might not be due to anyone’s fault; it is because we might grow past a certain people or some of them grow past us. Our wants might change and where we are going mind seem too foreign for them
You get to know who your true friends are, and realize that life is even better when you have true friends. You learn that some friends are also worth fighting for. According to Jon Katz, “I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, and don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
When we think about the people in our lives that are truly our friends, we often tend to find out they are not so many. “The friend who can be silent with you in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with you in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, now that’s a friend who cares”, Henry said.
I read somewhere that life is such an awful, ugly place not to have a best friend. Now, you should know that it doesn’t matter how many friends you have, it can be one or two. It’s not about numbers but value. If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky. I am not saying you should not try making more connections as you grow, it might require more effort to make new friends or even maintain the ones you have, know that it is worth it. Friendship makes the world go round and makes life a tad easier. So go, meet more people, make good connections, make more friends, but heed the words of Alice Walker, “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”