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How To Be A Friend

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The most frightening thing a writer can experience in the course of churning up a piece is having no inspiration to write. In my case, I feel that I’m in a desperate need to visit a new place and possibly experience a different culture to revive my state of impediment. I am staring at my beautiful screen (I’ve put colours of the sea as wallpaper) and have no inclination where my next glimmer of words would be. There was a time when I could spew out letters to state issues that plague anything but today, I have to think if I have any issues to address. Its actually a good thing, considering that issues are very absorbing and can rob you of energy, passion and time, of which I have very little of at this moment.

About 6 years ago, I thought long and hard about the person I wanted to be and I listed down the reasons why friends would want to spend time with me which would make me be a better friend to them. I thought about my closest friends first, then about friends in my circle of influence who are not so personal but are there when you want to have tea and a good laugh. I also combined personality traits and characteristics that I could grow into.

  1. In order to have friends, I need to be a friend to them.
  2. Apart from good company, I need to be there even when they are not so good company i.e. when they are having a bad day.
  3. I must be empathetic, not sympathetic….I need to listen and not act unless Im asked.
  4. I must learn to keep in touch and not distant myself when the going gets tough. My friends chose to be friends in all times of need and by alienating them when I’m down, its like telling them they are useless as friends. I must learn to let go of friends who choose to have their privacy for whatsoever reason. 
  5. I must learn not to expect from a friendship. Friendship with expectations is a conditional one.
  6. Acknowledge that not all friends are friends, and accept that some of them are just not interested in you or being a friend to you, and that some of them will always upset you. I think this has a lot to do with chemistry.
  7. Just as there are friends who bring out the best in you, there are people who would bring out the worst in you. The kind who would make your blood boil and your stomach simmer. When you recognise this group of people, its best to just keep a distance. All the fighting in the world would not make them see your point so why bother? Losing hair and sleep over something trivial is not the best way to live. You need to deal with this on your own or with a counsellor if you are the one who have issues. All the bitching in the world would not affect them in the least bit so why bother. I am glad I was counseled professionally then, to be able to give counsel to those in need.  
  8. I can change my approach towards annoying people instead of trying to change annoying people. 
  9. Silence between friends is golden, especially when they can let you be in their personal space and be totally at peace. Treasure that. I did and I love my friends for it.
  10. Laughter among friends is even better. It bonds the emotions and seals the friendship. To be able to laugh heartily without a care is to explode with sentiment. Laughter releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones. I needed to laugh much more. 
  11. When God created the world, He spoke and it came into being. He spoke, and the stars, planet, sun and moon were blasted into the orbit. If we are made in His image, don’t you think our words carry a lot of weight in which you can bless or curse others? I chose to bless. 
  12. I don’t need to use foul language to get my point across. Finesse is in spoken words and being verbally incontinent displays a lack of discipline. Being in control and being able to articulate your words will let your friends see that you have it in you. 
  13. If you don’t like people to talk bad about you or with malice, then stop giving people a reason to. Keep your private life private. There is a select few who really know whats going on in my life and I’d like to keep it that way. I have no interest to pry into the lives of others if they don’t want to share with me. 
  14. I will tell the truth. Even if it hurts.
  15. I will be genuine with my feelings, if I don’t like you, I will not pretend I do. It would have to be a moral and ethical issue if I don’t like someone. Each person has his/her own set of values and may not necessarily be in line with mine. And I would give them a chance to make good with whatever wrongdoings (such as when they hurt you/your friend or cheat on their spouse/partner) but if they do not heed, I will not go out of my way for the friendship. Genuine friends will not allow you to be reckless in your actions and will tell you if you are conducting your life in a hasty, irresponsible and thoughtless manner. Neither would they want you to be hurt. 
  16. The time given by your friend to be out with you is precious. Keep all phone calls to a maximum of 3 minutes and respect your friends time accorded to you. If you don’t want to feel left out, don’t leave people out.
  17. In life, there must be accountability. Theres no use justifying your actions if you get caught for any wrongdoing. Just admit it, apologise and change if you have to. If not, be prepared to lose a friend. 
  18. It takes a moment to destroy what people take a lifetime to build. It’s called trust. Don’t break it for others. What is not yours belongs to somebody else. I don’t have to be vivid in painting this picture and I’m sure my friends would not paint this picture for me.  
  19. No one is a lesser person. No one is stupid. No one is greater than the other except the one who came and died for you and me. There are only opportunities. You may have had a better education, access to your fathers wealth and property to have a head-start in life but if you don’t have love and compassion for the less fortunate who never had the opportunities, you are as good as the other person on the street. It’s not what I can get out of being friends to the poor, the old, they dying, the homeless, the desolate, the abused, the orphans and the sick but what I can give of myself to make a little difference to the world they live in. 
  20. Living is about touching lives. Not exploit or manipulate people to get what you want. Life is too short to live for meaningless goals. Make someone happy today.

And when I finished with the note then, I felt the burden lifted off from my shoulders. I went for my Emergency First Response Instructor qualification and then Disaster Relief Training with CREST to prepare myself and to train others to go on missions. I know one day, these skills will come in handy. I attended a Handling Children and Child Psychology course to learn how to work with children and abused children. It made me feel so fortunate to have had a great childhood and great friends who would support me in my work with the less fortunate. And with this list as my guideline to be a friend, I know I will have much to give back to the community and the less privileged. Even with friends who never regarded you as one before. Issues abound when friends cant see eye to eye or accept each others differences. Forget issues and start living. I think my inspiration returned after I revamped my blog. Happy holidays…..