Thoughts on friendship

“I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”

Pensive, withdrawn, lonely. The life of the world can be teeming around us, the high decibel sounds can be dinning in our ears and still we can be lonely. It is possible to be lonely in a crowd. Loneliness haunts the places where crowds gather. It is not the presence or absence of people that makes the difference because a person need not be lonely even if he/she is alone. Sometimes it is good to be alone. But that does not make us lonely. It is not a matter of being present with someone. It is a matter of being present to someone. This calls for special communication, special human interaction, special acceptance and understanding. If these are lacking, all we have is lonely people, each encased within his/her own impenetrable shell. No one wants to be lonely. People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.

To dissolve loneliness we need friends. A friend gives warmth, understanding, time, love oneself. A friend stands up to my anger, my selfishness, my short-comings. A faithful friend is a sure shelter. Whoever finds one has found a treasure. In his inimitable way, I suppose Snoopy would cut through the core and say, “Happiness is a friend who lets you be yourself and still loves you.” We need friends because we are social beings, not by choice, but by nature.

“I spent one morning with a friend and wished the day would never end…”

 

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How far is ‘too far’?

Its imperative in any friendship that in the course of time, one needs the help and probably expertise of the other person. What else is friendship? You tend to complement the drawbacks in the other person and so does he. (At least that’s the way it is expected to be.) How far can this balance be tested? How far can one person constantly depend upon, or use the other person?

For me, someone who believes that the best way to have good friends is to be one; it is hard to say ‘No’. I tend to be used by my friends, but I’ve never felt it that way. I’m somehow happy to help always. Interestingly enough, I’m not okay accepting anyone’s help. I believe that the greatest sin in life is to have someone else do your work for you, when you are actually fit and healthy and it is well within your ability to do it.