My closest friend is myself. I have few friends. Before you go all “oh that’s so sad/funny” let me add a caveat. I know a lot of people, and have known a lot of people. It’s just that I don’t class many of them as friends. Acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, companions, yes. There is nothing wrong with being one of them. What makes a friend though? What has to happen to push through simply knowing someone to it being a friendship?
A real friendship is one where you are completely honest and truthful. You have complete trust in the other person. You would do anything for them without expecting any reward or praise in return. Cicero thought that as well, and he was one of the greatest philosophers. A friend knows when things are wrong, and knows when and how to ask what it is. A friend doesn’t just say “what’s up?”
True friends are there for you when times are bad, and will still be there after you have been horrible and mean to be around. A friend forgives. Friends put you before their own self-interest. Samwise was a true friend because he walked into Mordor with Frodo not because he had to but because he wanted to (or maybe he just feared being turned into a toad by Mr Gandalf, Sir).
But I can be a crap friend, and I have lost more than I care to think about. I have been mean and neglectful and selfish. When I have a longer relationship with a games console rather than real human beings you have to ask “where did it all go wrong?” What can I (and perhaps everyone) do to be a better friend?
Talk to your friends, don’t shut off communication for some stupid reason and understand they want to help. Make the effort even when they don’t, as JFK said about having friendships, we have them not because they are easy but because they are hard.
Ok he said that about going to the moon, but friendships are a bit like that. They take work and can be a struggle, sometimes you end up in a dead end and find out that the person you depended upon the most is the first person to abandon you, these are the acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, companions. It’s in these moments that the people you never expected to take your side you suddenly find carrying you. These are your friends. Cherish them, nuture them like a fragile flower for in their earliest blooming for they are very easy to crush.