September 14, 2007

Thoughts On Friendship

I have been thinking a lot about friendship, lately. Thinking of some friends that I've lost, in the past, and some that I've acquired, recently. I know that it is said that you should choose your friends carefully, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sometimes, they just happen along, and things either work out, or they don't. I've had a few that I thought were genuine, but found out that it was not so. I have never been one to choose, or keep a friend based on looks, age, education, or wealth. I've never chosen a friend based on how sophisticated they happen to be, or how enlightened. Prestige, fame, and fortune, have never impressed me in the least. I've been poor--just about as poor as you can imagine--and I've been fairly well-off. I've had--and still have some of them--friends who were doctors, lawyers, college professors, politicians, pharmacists, an engineer, a physicist, a theologian, and a celebrity or two. I've, also, had friends who were common laborers, who worked their fingers to the bone, so to speak. Each and every one of those friendships have been based on things held in common--the only things of any real importance in a friendship --honesty, integrity, respect, and genuine affection.
I've been treated badly when I was very poor--in my growing-up years--and I've been kow-towed to, a few times, just because of my particular strata of society at the time. I guess I should be thankful for each and every one of those friendships, because I'm sure that I learned something valuable from each one. One thing that I have learned for sure--people are just people. Some are users, and some are losers, and some are the cream of the crop. Treat each one with kindness and respect, as much as it is possible, and most of the time, they will do the same. If not, then it is time to move on.

The following was written by an unknown author, as much as I can determine. Many have claimed authorship, but it is disputed.

"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."


Olivia Kroth said...

Ah, more on friendship, Jan.
I find lifetime friends are as rare as birds with golden feathers.
Your great American poet Emily Dickinson wrote about friendship:

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- too?
Then there's a pair of us?
Don't tell! They'd advertise - you know!

Vin De Vine said...

I have recently made some valuable friends on the internet, but in my own local socio-sphere I have had less luck since I moved to NorCal. The aquaintences I have made have been departing this world faster than I am able to scrutinize and accept them into my tight circle of what I consider friends. For a rural commnity, the death rate seems extremely high in my neighborhood. I have lost a neighbor next door on the left, and another to the right, one across the street, and then another next door on the left and then another neighbor to the right of me all within the past three years. I lost my number one fan about a month ago, and today I learned my new aquaintance Steve whom I have sang and jammed and joked around and spent quality time with has been diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to all 12 of the areas they biopsied.
I want to be sad, angry, to feel something appropriate, but at the moment all I can feel is the fear of my own mortality and guilt for wanting to avoid looking Steve in the eyes.
I hope tomorow morning I wake up a braver man.

Jan said...

vin..I am very sorry to hear about your friend, and whatever you're feeling right now IS appropriate for the moment.

We all have these fears, when we are faced with our own mortality, especially so when there are so many deaths taking place all around us.

Since Steve is your good friend, continue to be a good friend to him, just by letting him know that you are there for him.

As far as waking up a braver man, it is not that you are not's just that you are human, with ordinary human emotions.

Jan said...

Olivia..yes, she was one of the greatest poets, but virtually unknown in her lifetime.

Ironically, she preferred spending much of her time alone.

sue said...

I have lots of aquaintances, but not a lot of friends. It is hard for me to open up... having said that, I have made a couple of really good friends through this strange place called blog-land. Amazing how you can open up to each other and let your feelings out - then find you may have people out there who have similar feelings! Truly a surprise.

Great post, Jan.

Jan said...

Thanks, Sue...I know what you mean about acquaintances and really close friends. There is a vast difference.

Those frinds with whom you can open up, and let your feelings out, are to be treasured...and sometimes, hard to find.

Livey said...

And I am proud to call you my friend! love ya!