Posted on 20 Comments

A Good Friend

Two women laughing and covering each other's eyes.
Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

What does it mean to be a friend?

The dictionary defines friendship as — a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

I have never felt the need to cultivate many friends, just a select few. These ‘special’ ones, good friends, are the ones that stand the test of time. Most of my friends have been so for the better part of 20 or 30 years.

My best girl and I have been friends since kindergarten. We are now women of a certain age, so that’s been a looong friendship.

We each live our separate lives and come together whenever we need to without ever losing a beat.

She is perhaps the only person alive I feel I can tell “anything to and the message is received in the spirit it was intended. We really do understand each other. We never quarreled even during our teenage years!

We have a cool easy friendship that has stood the test of time.

I am a keeper of friends. I love people, loyal genuine folks. The type of friendships that thrives without being too demanding.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

What is the basis of a good friendship?

  1. Trust — the foundation upon which ALL relationships must be built. Otherwise, they will never stand the test of time.
  2. A kindred soul, one that is respectful, kind, generous, empathetic. Good friendship does not require that you share the same viewpoints on everything, but each must be willing to respect others’ points of view and work through any conflict towards a resolution.
  3. A keeper of secrets and a safe harbor to rest. Everyone needs a confidante. A friend you can trust with your secret is a boon.
  4. Honesty— this is non-negotiable! Without honesty, no relationship can grow or prosper. Lies, deceit, and betrayal will swiftly cause the demise of any budding friendship.
  5. A cheerleader — He/she encourages your dreams and aspirations and does all they can to help you achieve them.
  6. Maintain individuality— each person must own and maintain their separate spaces in which to pursue their own interests. Later they come together with fresh perspectives, hopes, dreams, and even failures.
  7. Generous with time — As with any relationship, great friendships must be nurtured. This requires carving out time for mutual interests and bonding.
  8. Provides a voice of reason, camaraderie, and belonging. Empower your friend with the freedom and to tell you when and if they think you are heading down a wrong path. Be willing to listen, hear them, and take time to see their point of view.

Photo by Liz Weddon on Unsplash

Final thoughts

If friendships are to survive, some ground rules must be set. A few of the necessary qualities are honesty, trust, compassion, and love.

A good friend is any person with whom you can let your hair down, so to speak. In their presence you feel safe, loved, welcomed, and most importantly you are free to be yourself. A great friend is one with whom there is no need for pretense.

If you should find such a friend, make time to nurture and cement that bond.

Finally, be as good a friend to them as you hope they will be for you.

Be safe, be well!!

Posted on 38 Comments

Social Distancing: A New Concept?

Social Distancing

I was having a discourse with 2 of my co-workers here today. We were discussing our current times of course, and what could be the take away from it.

There could be valuable lessons remaining in the debris after the storm has passed.

Myself and one of the ladies, who was born in China, began recalling how the world was different in our younger years. There was a feeling of community then, this is no longer the same.

Our current call to social distancing, is it something new in America? We do not believe that it is, not really.

Social distancing is evident in many facets of life in developed worlds. We are often too busy. We have deadlines to meet, worrying about our bills, successful and competitive kids to raise, and so forth.

Trust is hard to come by, some persons do not play by the rules and we have to be mindful. But opportunities for friendships to develop present themselves and are often ignored. I am guilty of mistrust as well.

Most of us have always been practicing social distancing. Do we know our neighbors? Speak to many people in our communities?

We drive home, into our garages, never or barely say hello, lock our doors. Many would not recognize their neighbor who resides on the other side of the shared fence, if seen in a different setting. I know I wouldn’t!

During my childhood we were:

  • Raised as a community.
  • Taught to share.
  • Be respectful of each other and our elders.
  • We could be rebuked by anyone, does not have to be a relative.
  • Everyone passed and called out to the adults, you never passed without speaking to them.
  • Help each other, if older persons cannot go to shop, offer to help.
  • Any older person could ask the child of someone else to assist them with reasonable tasks.

I understand that this is a different time and place and I would not  let my child about with persons I am unfamiliar with, but adults could maybe do a little less social distancing and foster greater cohesiveness.

Once this storm has subsided, some take away lessons could be:

  • Being more friendly to each other.
  • Checking on elderly community neighbors.
  • Being kinder as a whole to ALL.
  • Offering to help each other as fellow humans.
  • Get to know others in our communities and alleviate some of the fear of the unknown.

We are mostly just people, generally with the same ideals, wanting the same things and just the chance to live in peace and provide a life for ourselves and our families.

Perhaps I am too idealistic … one can hope can’t they?

What are your thoughts?