“Friends”

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It’s interesting to me just what that simple word ‘Friend’ may mean to different people.

With ‘social media’ today people seem to ‘collect friends’. How many people can we get to ‘follow’ us – to ‘like’ our comments and photos. For me it begs the question – just what is a ‘friend’? What is it that makes a real friend for me – and – what makes me a real friend to them.

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Don’t get me wrong. I have many friends on Facebook and find it a great tool for keeping in touch – but the reason I count them as my friends is because of a history of ‘friendship’. We have ‘walked’ together and shared our lives

My thoughts today were in fact prompted by communications I had been having with a friend on Facebook. I had heard that this friend had been in hospital and so was in touch to see how they were doing. My interest was built upon a history of a friendship that reaches even beyond the beginning of Facebook and other forms of social media. We knew each other in person – our lives interwove together. We came from different parts of the world and worked together seeking to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We learnt about each other’s families – what our interests were – and so was born a friendship that still exists with the passing of many years and the parting of our ways.

There are other friendships too. Those that began in my childhood – those people who have spent time with me – shared life with. Many are friends from my past and some of those friendships have stood the test of time and go on still today.

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Of course there are various levels of friendships too – some go deeper than others – but for me – all friendships involve a commitment to one another – a genuine interaction and involvement in each others lives – a caring – a knowing – a loving.

So yes – friendships can come and go – but it’s those deep connected friendships that are so valuable and precious in our lives. The friendships that we are so fortunate to be a part of – those that never diminish with absence or the passing of time.

I think about the friends in my life – friends at all levels – and there rises within me a strong desire to guard those relationships – to grow them – to look after them – for without them I am less of a person – I am richer because of their friendships.

I hope my friends can say the same about me too and feel as though their lives are richer and fuller because I am their friend.

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