Well it's the end of the week and it's been a pretty full on one at that! I started back at work on Monday for the year, and as I predicted, it was a very busy week of catch up (which I still haven't managed to do).
A couple of things happened this week that got me thinking.
We have people come in and out of our lives every single day. Acquaintances, strangers, work colleagues, team mates, lovers, enemies; the list is endless. A lot of these people we also refer to as friends.
But how many of them would you consider a 'true' friend? And what does a 'true friend' mean to you?
To me, a 'true' friend is someone that is there for you regardless of the time of day or night.
Someone that doesn't need social media to remember the important dates in your life.
Someone that would drop everything for you just because you asked.
Someone that gives constantly and never expects to receive in return.
Someone who supports whatever choices you do make and doesn't judge you for them.
Someone who loves you unconditionally for who you are.
Imagine you were in trouble. Or you needed help with something. Or you just needed someone to be there for you. How many people do you know that would actually come through? My guess is that if you sat down and really thought about it, and was completely honest with yourself, you could count the number of people that would be there on one hand.
Check your Facebook friend list. How many friends do you have? 100? 200? 1,000? How many of them actually wish you a happy birthday on your special day? 50? 60? Now, take your birthday offline. How many of your 'Facebook friends' would still wish you happy birthday? A couple? Maybe 10 if your lucky? For most people, if they don't have social media remind them, they don't care. Which means you need to ask the question: Do they actually care about YOU?
Sadly too many people are selfish. Too many people are invested in 'friendships' for their own purpose, whether it be because they want something from you, or because it suits them at the time. They don't actually care about your feelings, or how their 'friendship' is going to affect you. And the worst part is sometimes you don't realise what they're doing until its too late.
I had a 'friend' like that. I went through a lot of stuff a few years back and had a 'friend' support me the whole way through. He would call me a couple of times a week, to find out how I was going and would help me out if I needed it. It seemed like he was always there for me, and would help me with anything.
Then everything I was going through was finalised. I haven't heard from him since. It was like he had dropped off the face of the earth. He stopped answering my calls, didn't return messages, all that kind of stuff. It wasn't until I gave it a lot of thought that I realised how blind I had been. He never actually called to find out how I was doing. He was calling to find out how the situation was progressing. He didn't actually care about me at all. I realised (too late) that all he was after was gossip, and where better to get it than direct from the source. Once there was no gossip left to take, he no longer had a need for me.
I learnt my lesson though. I learnt that sadly there are a lot of people out there that are just trying to get as much as they can, of whatever they can, as quickly as they can. They don't care about anyone else. They don't care that what they do could hurt someone.
Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't be selfish sometimes, or that you shouldn't put yourself first. We all need that occasionally. It's only healthy.
But when you're playing with other people, and their emotions like my 'friend' did to me, that is just wrong. It's not nice. It's not fun. And it's definitely not fair on the poor soul you leave behind wondering what happened, and why the friendship no longer exists once you're done with them.
The events of this week made me wonder. What if I needed someone to just be there to hold my hand and tell me that everything will be OK, regardless of whether you thought what I was doing was right or not? How many of you would actually be there, instead of being judgemental from the sidelines???
How many of you would be the 'true friend' we all claim to be?
Some of my favourite quotes on friendship:
A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is.
What's the use of having so many friends if you cannot depend on any of them? Forget about fake friends, and start searching for the real ones. Those are the ones who will never leave you alone, the ones who'll always come running when you call their names, the ones who can turn your sadness in to happiness.
A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.
Your true friend is always there, not just for a day or two, but forever.