What is a True Friend?



My wife asked me to stop writing about politics for a bit and pick a social topic to address. So, I decided to write about friendship. Why? because it is one of the things that I miss the most. As we age we lose our ability to do many things in life, but the one that we lose first is the ability to make true friends. We continue to make acquaintances, to have good relations with our neighbors, people at work, at the gym, etc. But we discover how hard it is to keep and make true friends. Is this a function of the pace of life we lead and increased responsibilities or something else?

Let me clarify who I consider to be a true friend. To me a true friend is not one that I count on to be supportive at times of crisis, or one that I enjoy talking to or going out with. These are qualities that would be great to have in a friend, but it is not what makes him/her a true friend. To me a true friend is one who I can be myself with with all my imperfections and my vulnerabilities. With a true friend, silence is soothing, talking is a joy, and laughing is a sweet childhood dream. Think for a minute how many people in your life can you be your true-self with? How many evoke such emotions in you?

So, why do we lose our ability to make true friends as we age? As kids our lives are so simple, we do not have much to hide. We can be selfish, cruel, vulnerable, and adorable at the same time. We can be our true selves with others without much effort. Hence, it is quite natural that this is the period where we make our true friends. As we age, however, life adds twists into our being with our failures and successes, our heart aches and breaks, and life inherent unfairness. Slowly we feel the need to compensate, to hide our scars and protect our vulnerabilities. We stop sharing our true thoughts, feelings and emotions. Using this definition of true friendship, if we cannot share our true-selves, we cannot make true friends any more. This is what makes true friends like rare gems; hard to find, hard to shape, and heart-breaking to lose.

If you happen to still have some of those "true friends" in your life, consider yourself lucky. Making and keeping them is as hard as finding your soul mate. They are irreplaceable. Do not jeopardize your relationship with them by any of our adult dealings especially the financial ones and remember them with a special thought in this Valentine's day. Make every effort to stay in touch for they are your way of staying touch with your own soul.




Mohamed A


Saudi Arabia

Comments on this page:
Comment posted by:02/17/2010 at 2:19pm (UTC)


Comment posted by Preeti, 02/17/2010 at 2:05pm (UTC):
I dont know about others but i got one!!!

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