The week that passed was the “International Friendship Week” and today when it’s over a thought came to my mind – What is the real meaning of Friendship. Truthfully speaking even dictionary can never give the meaning, it’s something that needs to be experienced to realise. Just as none can give the true meaning of Life!!!
I contemplated and tried to understand what Friendship means. Virginia Woolf had once made a comment telling the importance of friendship – When in turmoil few go to priest, few turn to poetry but I go to my friends. When we think of our friends we immediately think of those people who have been constantly present in our lives, those who have been a stellar support to us in happy times and times of crisis. Perhaps it is not always easy to define friendship. It isn’t built on a list of expectations as is the case with other relationships. But then perhaps it is this freedom, this unspoken tenderness, this amalgamation of faith, trust, support and other beautiful aspects that make it such a sacred bond.
It is true that we don’t always forge close relationships with all the people that we ever meet in life. With some individuals we share a heartwarming equation. It is not always easy to understand what real friendship means and this beautiful bond is best left to be experienced. At some point of time every individual meets someone with whom he is able to share a rare level of understanding, conversation feels easy and is never a burden. Time seems to have no effect on this friendship; in fact with each passing day the two people continue to value each other even more. The attachment becomes deeper with each passing day and perhaps this is real friendship. Even then not all friendships stand the test of time. So what does it mean to be friends with someone? How are friends supposed to behave with one another? Well here’s what I feel about the issue.
- Any person who has ever enjoyed a wonderful bond of friendship will understand the importance of being there for the friend. Life is a continuous learning experience and along the way every person encounters happy moments and trying times. What one needs during the happy times as well as the painful ones is constant support and a true friend knows this only too well. Sometimes it is not always possible to be there for your friend in person but still they make sure to find a way out.
- Perhaps it is only in friendship that people are capable of giving unconditional acceptance and love to another individual and this is the hallmark of true friendship. It means friends allow each other to be human and commit mistakes and learn from the mistakes. It also means that friends love each other in spite of the mistakes. This acceptance and love also means that friends talk to each other if they have any issues between them and that they treat each other with respect, dignity and kindness.
- An ideal friendship allows the people involved to be just as they are without any pretense. In this wonderful bond people feel free to talk to their friends about their problems and ask for advice. Some times you just need someone to listen to and a true friend knows the importance of this. In a healthy friendship people should feel free to point out mistakes of their friends with kindness and give advice and then give them the freedom to follow the advice or to leave it. There should be trust and faith.
- True friendship also means that our friends encourage us to reach and perform according to our potential and do not transgress our boundaries. In a healthy friendship bond you should never be forced by any of your friends to do anything that you are not comfortable doing. There is genuine concern for the emotional, physical and spiritual well being of each other in this beautiful relationship. There is a desire to do something good for the other person without expecting anything in return.
- Just as in any other relationship space is extremely important in friendship too. A true friend also allows the other person to have other friends and no unwanted possessiveness spoils the beauty of this bond.
When two people take time to invest their emotions in each other, when they care for each other unconditionally and spend precious moments building beautiful memories; a deep bond develops and this bond is like a beautiful plant. Give enough time and love and it will grow into a tree and provide much comfort just as friendship does. George Elliot said, “Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.” And I know this, after all I learnt all this from my best friend, who I don’t think I need to even name here!!!