(By Paul Chong)
(A person who helps at a difficult time is truly a reliable person.)
With three score & ten years behind me, though a dimmer prospect of another score ahead of me, I have lived a life where the word “friend” takes on different perspectives with the passing of time.
The essence of friendship is a connection or bond undeterred by time or space. It’s a love that knows unlimited boundaries & true friendships last a lifetime.
You don’t need to have friends in high places or in senior positions who are able and willing to use their influence on your behalf. What you need most is, in times of need, a friend whom you can count on anytime, anyplace, anyhow – dependable, responsible & reliable whatever the circumstances. This is what’s all about of the proverbial saying of “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. It is someone who has collectively all the wonderful qualities in him which he puts at your disposal without the least worrying about his own self interests.
He has with you a bond of mutual understanding, love , affection & respect.
He ‘s a strong supporter of your cause – be it personal or otherwise.
He’s always on your side – friend rather than foe.
Over the years when you were growing up, you were & are constantly making friends. After all, we are gregarious creatures, social beings, who need to mix & congregate. You have it heard being said that no man is an island. For all intent & purposes we find ourselves living in nests, be it social sharing common interests or professional as in the same line of work or employment. In school, we have classmates & schoolmates as friends. In college, we have college mates, & at university, university mates.
In our working life, we have colleagues & work mates – some closer than others, distinguishing through degrees of same interests. For the ambitious ones, they move outside the sphere of their own environment by joining clubs & associations to extend their friendship circle. Some join service clubs with the noble idea of rendering service to the community or the sheer opportunity of meeting people in higher places. Some take to playing golf for in most Asian countries golf has a snob connotation attached. Others use it as an avenue of closing deals or negotiating one. Sports like tennis does provide an avenue of advancing one’s social circle & ladder, rendering a touch of class & social grace. Church going is also a way of socialising.
Whatever & however friendship is cultivated, friends of such category seldom last. The Chinese have a saying about friends who will wine & dine with you while you are able to lavishly throw parties around. While the going is good, that friend is around but not otherwise. “Hey, there’s nothing in it for me!”, so he drifts away.
So will all your friends drift away one way or another. Some sadly enough through the misfortune of untimely demise. They are never around you forever however close you might have been because of circumstances or job locations. Out of sight out of mind is a natural human phenomenon. If you value friendship as much as you value your life, stay in touch, particularly those who are really your friends.
When you sit and rock in your old rocking chair, & your mind wander into the distant past, take time to think just how many friends you have made over the years, how many are still with you, but more so, how many can you really count them as friends. I wonder!
Sometimes, a friend is but a stranger whom you have not met! You met by chance & by choice you became friends. Good friends endure the test of time & trials. I also remember an old song we used to sing in school:
“Make new friends
But keep the old
One is sliver
The other is gold.”
Friendship demands all due care & attention.At all times, we need to apply all the “Rs” in terms of mutual respect. Friends, more than all the things, must be renewed, refreshed, revived, reclaimed,redeemed & restored that they may be treasured & not discarded.
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” – St Thomas Aquinas
May you always have
Love to Share, Health to Spare and Friends that Care!
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent